“I still exist u twat,” Kate Nash wrote in a scathing but moving response to a Buzzfeed article last year, claiming that her only place was in “the memory of millennials”. Right on. Not only did she survive the indie landfill, Nash thrived outside of it.
She was a wunderkind from the Brit School before becoming a MySpace phenomenon, and the polka-dot indie-pop of her No.1 debut ‘Made Of Bricks’ made Nash a people’s champion in 2007. Follow-up ‘My Best Friend Is You’ threw a little more grit in the mix before she landed on the bold rrriot girl departure of 2013’s ‘Girl Talk’ – released independently after her label dropped her via text message. Feeling used and abandoned by what she called a “sleazy industry”, it left a taste that was a more than a little “bitt-ah”.
Since ‘Girl Talk’ she’s scored a number of acting roles; most notably by being fucking ace as Rhonda “Britannica” Richardson in Netflix wrestling comedy GLOW. But music is her life after all – albeit now with none of the money-loving dickheads in between. After raising $70,000 through crowdfunding, ‘Yesterday Was Forever’ is now upon us.
With that ‘straight-to-fan’ mentality and the fact that she approached writing as if it were a “teenage diary”, the album is confessional, sprawling, and a little indulgent. The pop-grunge bounce of ‘Life In Pink’ and the barbed anthemics of ‘Call Me’ offer a promising start, leaving you teetering on the hope that she may head down the route that led to her follow-up generation of Dream Wife and Sunflower Bean. Alas, then ‘Take Away’ limps in like a rejected French & Saunders send-up of Britpop, as Nash mourns for the days of spooning to Buffy The Vampire Slayer as she sledgehammers home toe-curlingly gauche lyrics about ordering a Chinese with some Pepsi.
The firecracker pop of ‘Drink About You’ can’t be ignored as a career-peak, while the shimmering but sultry electro of ‘Body Heat’ sees Nash successfully conquer new ground, and The Pet Shop Boys disco-noir swagger of ‘Karaoke Kiss’ is good harmless fun. However, much of the rest smacks of petrol station bargain bin (see: the jarring squawked chorus of ‘California Poppies’ and aimless waltz of ‘My Little Alien’).
‘Always Shining’ finds a space between Lily Allen and Courtney Love and fills it with bewildering crap, and ‘Twisted Up’ offers the biggest clanger on the album with: “I don’t wanna read an email by a ghost, I wanna be touched by you the most”. The moments of saving grace in songs about anxiety, body-image and independence are somewhat lost in a 14-track endurance test of stylistic mess and spoon-fed lyricism.
‘Yesterday Was Forever’ was a record paid for by fans, and made for the fans. It may not find much love outside of them, but fuck it. She doesn’t need anyone else now. Yes, she still exists – but not for you, you twat.