Release Date: Jul 23, 2013
Record label: Apollo
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Nadine Shah has already dealt two mortal wounds with her Aching Bones and Dreary Town EPs, but that’s not enough for the Whitburn (a quaint coastal village in Tyne & Wear for non-northerners) singer-songwriter. Her killing blow will be Love Your Dum and Mad, her full-length debut. Already various corners of the internet are palpably fizzing with anticipation, waiting for what’s sure to be a revolutionary, incendiary debut.
Love Your Dum And Mad, the debut album by north east born, London based artist Nadine Shah is highly anticipated. Over the past year, Shah has emerged with a collection of dark hearted and dramatic songs that see her exploring intensely personal themes with a broody flourish. Following two well received and acclaimed EPs, the debut album encompasses all the beguiling facets of Shah’s character into one bewitching and deeply alluring whole.
Love Your Dum and Mad begins with this insistent clanging; it's guitarist Simon McCabe hammering away on a zither, making some industrial-grade din-- the noise perfectly mimicing a train crossing signal. It's an anxious sound, the soundtrack of impatiently waiting, of staying clear of a powerful, inevitable force that could crush you. The jing-jing-jing of this lasts for the nearly four minutes of the album opener "Aching Bones", a dark droning concoction of martial drums, blown-out bass, and pricks of parlor piano.
On first encounter, Nadine Shah’s semi-operatic modus operandi can feel a little inaccessible. As her vocals soar and sear, a great deal of concentration is required of the listener to latch onto the precise meaning in her songs amid all the deft displays of skill and technique. Once you’ve worked it all out, however, that effort is rewarded. ‘Love Your Dum And Mad’ is an accomplished debut from the Whitburn-raised songwriter born of Norwegian and Pakistani parents, one in which Shah joins the canon of musicians who push the boundaries of singer-songwriter traditions – she’s every bit the equal of Bat For Lashes, Frida Hyvönen or any member of the Wainwright clan.Hayley Avron .
Dark clouds preside over this debut album from Nadine Shah. What's forecast in the song titles – from Aching Bones to Winter Reigns – outs in the songs, which deal with regret and betrayal over Ben Hillier's moody, slow-burning production. And yet Shah, who brings a powerful, nuanced voice to her songwriting, stops short of wallowing in melancholy.
First things first: No, Love Your Dum and Mad is not a particularly upbeat record. There’s that uncanny cover art, there are those song titles of “Dreary Town” and “The Devil” and “Winter Reigns”, and they’re not misleading. Singer-songwriter Nadine Shah tells stories that lament happier, bygone days, and Love Your Dum spends almost all its time in the minor key.
Everything about Nadine Shah’s debut album has been exquisitely put together. It’s a broodingly dark and theatrical cocktail of bruised hymns and starkly breathtaking vocals with Shah conjuring up dark tales of love, revenge and regret that Nick Cave and PJ Harvey would be proud of.And those acts are two of the closest touchpoints for this album. The PJ Harvey comparisons, especially, will be inevitable and there are definite similarities to be drawn with her distinctive and bold vocals which lean towards the dramatic.