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.