Nadine Shah – Love Your Dum And Mad

Shah cites Frida Kahlo and Nina Simone’s brands of feminism and William Hogarth’s depictions of “debauchery and poverty” as influences. It’s one way of explaining the memorably heart-rending take on modern-day strife, spelt out in Dreary Town and Filthy Game’s charcoal-stark settings and the smoky, burnt edges of Shah’s voice. PJ Harvey comparisons are valid, mostly the White Chalk/England Made Me era, Shah leaning more toward a taut, torch-song tradition and a simmering version of Diamanda Galas’s wounded exorcisms. The halfway mark of All I Want and Used It All are especially charged with loss. Producer and co-writer Ben Hillier (The Horrors, Depeche Mode) resists any temptation to over-arrange, leaving Love Your Dum And Mad a piercingly direct seduction of the senses.