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- Posted on Apr 21st 2010 11:10AM by Farah Ishaq
The North London born singer-songwriter's sound has developed markedly with the new album, and, as reported last week, Nash prefers to leave previous hits like 2007's 'Foundations' out of live shows through "boredom" now. Tracks on the new album, such as first single 'Do Wah Doo,' and 'Kiss that Grrl,' show a mixed-bag of influences, from Phil Spector-style Wall of Sound girl groups, to US lo-fi indie rock bands like Sonic Youth. It's quite a melange.
Describing the follow-up to the jangly piano songs of previous album, 'Made of Bricks,' Nash says the overall sound encapsulates, "becoming more mature, growing up." She also says, "it's about relationships, falling in love. It touches on xenophonia, gender issues, lots of different things," concluding with, "it sounds like girl groups and riot grrls."
Introduced to Duffy producer and former Suede member Bernard Butler by her boyfriend Ryan Jarman from the Cribs, Nash's new sound ideas were able to come to life with an intense stint in central London studio, RAK, last summer. Describing the experience, Nash is keen to reiterate that, even though Butler produced the songs, she wrote them all herself.
She says Butler, "was really good fun, he has a really great sense of humour. It was great working with him, he really made me work hard -- it was like doing a proper job, getting up and going in, working until 11 at night. He didn't have any input to my songs. I came in with 10 pretty fully formed demos, and he added in things like a few reprises, some horns, things like that." She adds that it was, "great that he's into the same music I am, he really gets the girl group thing."
About to embark on a tour on North America and Europe, Nash is known for quirky, intimate shows. Indeed, at a recent warm-up date at the Bethnal Green Working Man's Club in London, the singer -- a former theatre student -- had to cope with a lengthy powercut.
Thinking on her feet, Nash instead got fans to play improvised games and sing songs with her whilst they waited for electricity to be restored. Nash explains, "Of course there is a real high level of panic, but you don't want to let the audience know that, and you can kind of make it fun and unique. You do the best with what you've got. If all you've got is an acoustic guitar and a blacked-out room, then you just have to get on with it, I guess!"
Excited about her upcoming North American tour which starts at the Mod Theatre, Toronto, Canada, on April 26, the 2008 Brit Award Best Female winner thinks her fans in the US are less snobby about her route to fame, via the UK's notorious star-making academy, the Brit School. She enthuses, "everyone is really supportive over there, really encouraging, really friendly. It's so nice to meet the fans out there. I think people in America are probably a little less cynical than British people. So that's always good."