sun 25/06/2017

CD: Nadine Shah – Love Your Dum and Mad | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Nadine Shah – Love Your Dum and Mad

CD: Nadine Shah – Love Your Dum and Mad

Dark and assured debut from sombre Tynesider

Nadine Shah oozes a dark theatricality, not the cartoon drama of a Lana Del Rey
Nadine Shah's 'Love Your Dum and Mad': more Brecht and Weill than gothic

Like a child’s crude drawing of a crime they’ve witnessed, the cover image is of two adults: one female, one male. The female is bent forward, holding what looks to be an axe. Below waist height, the male is holding a linear object spewing something towards her. It may be a gun, it may be his penis. Phrases strew the image: “psychiatric shopping mall”; “I don’t think you should be around people”. Whatever’s inside the sleeve of Nadine Shah’s debut album isn’t going to be cuddly-wuddly tomfoolery.

On Love Your Dum and Mad’s highlight “Runaway”, Shah sings “I still have that red silk dress, black lace underwear…and now I’m of no use to you now that the children are grown.” The voice is mixed back, her words hard to decipher on this sombre reflection on motherhood. It's what Savages could do if they were organic and had a heart beating at their core.

It’s probable that Shah’s darkness, when taken with the jagged music she makes, will see her filed into the Nick Cave or PJ Harvey category. That would be lazy and a disservice, as both her songwriting and approach to arrangement are more widescreen than anything constrained by that. More Brecht and Weill than gothic, she oozes a dark theatricality, not the cartoon drama of a Lana Del Rey. Although the first half of Love Your Dum and Mad has rock instrumentation, its second half is stripped down, almost solo, all-the more creepy and partly recorded in her father's curtain store in Blaydon-on-Tyne. Imagine a David Lynch take on The Beach Boys’ “Surf's Up”.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch the video for “Aching Bones” from Nadine Shah’s Love Your Dum and Mad

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