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14 March 2013

Singer Kate Nash takes new musical direction with latest album Girl Talk

HACKNEY girl Kate Nash is back with a new album and a huge national tour – but unless you’ve been keeping a close eye on her over the past couple of years, you might not recognise her.

Not only has she had a glam, rockabilly-inspired makeover, her latest album, Girl Talk, is almost unrecognisable from her debut, 2007’s Made of Bricks, which spawned the song she’s best known for, Foundations.

Having been dropped by her record label, 25-year-old Kate decided to go it alone, and release Girl Talk on her own label, Have 10p Records.

“Things didn’t work out with my label,” she says, choosing her words carefully. Adding: “It was a shock at first. I panicked for about three to five days; I was sad. But then I realised it’s kind of a blessing, like a divorce – yeah, it’s really hard, but sometimes you’re doing it for the best reasons.

“Being able to put this record out on my own record label feels amazing. The whole album is very strong and in your face, and to be the boss of that feels really cool.”

The album Polydor passed on showcases a harder, punky side to Kate, who these days takes inspiration from the feminist riot grrrl scene of the early 90s. But it’s not just her music that’s been influenced by her politics.

She speaks with pride about her youth project, the Rock ‘n’ Roll for Girls After School Club, which she’s been running in a handful of schools across the country and hopes to expand through Hackney.

She says: “It’s been a really emotional journey. We did a show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December and it was amazing. Seeing the journey that some of them went on; they had no confidence, they’d be bright red and angry and weird about being on stage ... but once they got up there they were great. They wrote some good songs as well. It wasn’t just cute ... it was really good.

“Girls go to so many shows where it’s all guys with guitars and you might think it looks cool, but you can’t really relate to it, so I love that [with my show] there are four chicks on bass and girls can think ‘oh, I can do that too’.”

Until now, Kate’s kept things local, playing a Halloween-themed show at Hackney Picturehouse last October, and unveiling Girl Talk down the road at the Sebright Arms, but soon she’ll be taking to the road, packing in 26 dates in just one month. Most people would find that daunting, but not Kate.

“I’m so happy to be out there,” she enthuses. Adding: “I approach everything in a completely different way now; I have more awareness of what I’m doing. When I first started doing this I was thrust into so many things ... when I played Hammersmith Apollo I felt nothing. It was all numb.

“I’m a bit older now and I’ve taken control of my own life. This is the best work I’ve ever done; I’m so happy with it – it feels like a rebirth.”

Hackney singer Kate Nash returns with a new album

Hackney singer Kate Nash returns with a new album

Hackney singer Kate Nash returns with a new album

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