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Kate Nash Takes a Turn Toward Punk with “Death Proof” EP

Have 10p Records (2012)

Death Proof, the 5-song EP released this week by Kate Nash as a teaser for her upcoming album Girl Talk, is bound to raise a few eyebrows with at least some of her fans. While the British alternative singer-songwriter’s last album My Best Friend Is You took a turn from her original coffeehouse vibe toward more of a Motown/surf rock blend, Death Proof takes an even sharper turn into an all-out punk sound, complete with the driving drums, bass and jangly guitars.

While there are some who might not prefer this side of Kate Nash, I think she actually pulls it off really well.  The opening title track “Death Proof,” inspired by the Quentin Tarantino film, sounds so Tarantino-esque that I’d be surprised if it doesn’t find its way onto one of his soundtracks. Nash also does a gritty cover of The Kinks’ “All Day and All Of the Night” in which she so owns the performance that you’d think she wrote the song herself if you didn’t already know what it was.

An artist known for her unflinching lyricism, with this EP Nash actually cleans up the profanity a bit—but don’t mistake that for “clean.” She replaces the potty mouth with—how can I put this delicately?—a tone in her voice. There’s a distinct, blush-worthy sexual vibe to the Death Proof EP, and nowhere is it more pronounced than in the song “I Want a Boyfriend.” “Now I’m feelin’ it,” she sings repeatedly, with a progressive lift in her voice that leaves little to the imagination what is happening.

With this EP giving us a hint as to what’s to come, it’s safe to say that we can expect more of the same on Girl Talk. Whether this turn toward punk is a permanent one remains to be seen (although I doubt it, since each of Kate Nash’s albums seems to be vastly different from the other). One thing I can say—Nash does punk so believably (at least in my opinion) that it really speaks to her diversity and talent as an artist. I can’t wait to hear what’s next.



4.5 / 5 stars     

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About the Author


Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Kim Phelps found her inspiration and love for music listening to local bands play in the coffeehouses around town. She soon found her own voice as a singer-songwriter, and eventually began playing her own gigs in the coffee shops. Her personal influences include Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Ingrid Michaelson and Cat Power, but as an indie musician herself, she has an affinity for any band or artist who pursues creative freedom on the outskirts of the music industry. As our Indie correspondent, Kim makes a point of highlighting up-and-coming independent acts who are creating a buzz and building an audience. When she's not blogging for us or playing in the coffee shops, Kim works as a barista herself to help pay the bills. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Featured, Indie/Alternative Music


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