Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination
Nadine Shah's new album Holiday Destination faces down the world of 2017 with guile and with guts
2016 ultimately formed the springboard for a geo-political shift as shocking as it was destabilising. It placed artists under increasing scrutiny: do those with an outlet, especially those blessed with courage and with resolve, owe us more than mere empathy?
Step forward Nadine Shah. Her second album, 2015‘s excellent document of love among the ruins Fast Food, was evidence of a rapidly maturing talent. With Holiday Destination, the leap is staggering. The clipped guitar and rumbling beats of Place Like This confirm the shift to a broader worldview.
Inspired by the daily horrors of recent and ongoing world affairs, Holiday Destination documents the plight of migrants, the fallout of Brexit, navigating the personal challenges of British nationality and Pakistani heritage. Out The Way explores the latter (“Where would you have me go? / I’m second generation, don’t you know?”) with brutal, choppy backing that recalls the switchback thrust of The Futureheads’ Decent Days and Nights.
Shah's rich musical palette smartly frames her lyrical acumen; crisp horns colour Relief’s spartan groove. The closing Jolly Sailor, a lengthy and brooding examination of identity and displacement, tosses the map completely, its extended closing passages formed from spare keys and barely-there beats. A literate and courageous – Shah is good on both cause and effect – work, Holiday Destination faces down a fucked-up world with guile and with guts.
Listen to: Out The Way, Jolly Sailor