Album review: Nadine Shah – Love Your Dum And Mad

Nadine Shah - Love Your Dum And Mad

Nadine Shah - Love Your Dum And Mad - Credit: Archant

A richly evocative album from one of 2013’s brightest and most compelling new talents – and what a voice!

Already showered with praise for her two EPs, the northern lass of Norwegian and Pakistani ancestry finally unveils this grand debut.

Aching Bones opens the album with an incessant, menacing clanging that’s soon joined by a glowering bassline recalling Massive Attack’s Angel, before Shah’s magnificent, smoky jazz singer tones are stretched out across the malevolent soundscape. It really is that good.

Shah collaborates with producer Ben Hillier, who brings to bear considerable expertise working with Blur, Depeche Mode et al.

It’s a perfect union, Shah’s lustrous-velvet vocals and vivid lyrics throwing a foreboding light on otherwise pretty piano-led songs like closing track Winter Reigns, while Hillier messes with samples in Floating to evoke Think Tank-era Blur, and gives All I Want a mellifluous beauty.

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The centrepiece, Dreary Town, is a glowering, spine-tingling song of rare and stately beauty, anguish and desolation.

Mental health issues loom large in Floating, while throughout piano notes echo off the walls of her father’s Curtain Superstore outside Sunderland, where she grew up and returned to record the album.

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With dashes of Anna Calvi and early PJ Harvey in her sound, a Mercury nomination surely awaits.

5 stars

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