Kate Nash surprised fans last week by announcing a new EP and today Death Proof is officially available for purchase under Kate’s label ’10p.’
Kate first appeared on the scene in 2005 and shortly after she released her first commercial album Made Of Bricks. Fans immediately grew to love Kate for her cheery singing and writing styles and her ability to write about typical topics like love and heartbreak in the wittiest of ways. In 2010 Nash released her sophomore album My Best Friend Is You and with it came the corky songs that fans had grown to expect, but with more mainstream appeal and nods to Kate’s feminists beliefs.
I would’ve expected her next project to follow her first two albums closely, walking the line between indie and pop, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. We got hints of her new sound earlier this year and again weeks ago with the release of “Fri-end?” and “Death Proof,” but I still didn’t expect the entire project to be so punk rock. Kate pens dark tales of betrayal and longing and even takes on The Kinks’ “All Of The Time.” on the 5-track EP. The verses on “I Want A Boyfriend” repeat themselves, before Kate erupts into a fit of screams and moans in the chorus over the grungy track. What’s interesting, but not surprising is that Katy uses both male and female pronouns in several of the songs on this EP. A nod to her equality beliefs for sure. “Fri-end?” is the song that most clearly bridges the gap between Kate’s old hits and her new sound with the heavy bass line and story that walks the line between cheery sarcasm and bitterness. The 5 track EP slows down only for the last song “May Queen,” but even it sticks to the dark theme with it’s haunting organ and Kate’s monotone vocals.
While this EP is definitely different for Kate sonically, it’s similar to her previous albums in that, once again, she’s managed to make the unexpected work. During her time off, Kate was clearly inspired by 60s/70s rock styles and I’m excited to see how that translates on a full album when Girl Talk is released. I do think she has to be careful with this new sounds, however, as her previously released single “Under-Estimate The Girl” wasn’t received well by a lot of her fans. Kate is known for her strong feminist beliefs, and I think her previous albums did a good job of expressing them in a way that wasn’t too heavy. “Death Proof” and “Fri-end?” work because they blend Kate’s new sound with the lyrical style and vocal delivery that fans have grown accustomed to.
Going forward she has to be careful with her delivery if she doesn’t want to be written off as just another bitter, angry girl.