Kate Nash ‘My Best Friend Is You’ // First Listen
‘My Best Friend Is You’
Kate Nash’s new LP ‘My Best Friend Is You’ is the follow-up to the Harrow singer’s platinum-selling debut, ‘Made Of Bricks’, which reached the UK number one spot in 2007. Her trademark honest lyrics and relateable narration on life’s complicated relationships won the hearts of teenage girls (and a fair few men) across the nation. Now she returns with a 13-track album, which ranges from doo-wop girl group hits, to grungy guitars and shoegazey, hazy vocals that we weren’t really expecting. Read our track-by-track guide below…
‘You’ll Never Listen’
Optimistically chiming with 60s girl group hand claps, tooting horns and Kate’s cockney-talk vocals (“Well done darlin!” she exclaims), Nash’s second album seems to begin where she left off. The song breaks down for a moment of sincerity: “You said you’d lend me anything/I think I have your company”, before erupting into a Los Campesinos! meets Mark Ronson-produced moment of string and brass. Big pop production, bitter lyrics, a large helping of playful pianos and a bit a of bolshie orchestration – ‘You’ll Never Listen’’s got single written all over it.
‘Kiss That Girl’
With another brassy beginning, and a swaying Motown pace, ‘Kiss That Girl’ has the 60s groove of an Amy Winehouse song, but with insecurity-riddled lyrics like “I bet she doesn’t like to eat/I bet her feet don’t even stink” that Kate’s made her name for. A song about her uncontrollable jealously and an issue with her boyfriend talking to a specific girl, we can all feel fairly sorry for a certain Cribs member after listening to this slightly possessive song.
‘Don’t You Want To Share The Guilt?’
After the girl group, brass-fuelled moments of previous songs, ‘Do You Want To Share The Guilt?’ begins with dainty banjo strums, xylophone plinks, distant guitars and the lyrics “Barbeque food is good/You invite me out to eat it/I should but I’m feeling kind of nervous and not quite myself”. A quite revealing song about her relationship with her ambiguous subject, the song builds earnestly into a full blown Los Campesinos!-styled indie ho-down, her lyrics spat with the same sincerity as Gareth Campesinos! himself – that’s until she begins an indie spoken word session consisting of the lyrics “I don’t know how more people haven’t got mental health issues/Thinking is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever come across” before listing things she likes such as swimming, a house she saw that was burnt down, shouting and trains.
‘I Just Love You More’
A Pixies-esque riff chimes in as Kate sombrely states ‘I Just Love You More’ before exhaling, deflated. Next a series of wails, and ‘ahhhhs’ kick in, sort of akin to Kings Of Leon’s ‘Charmer’. Her voice is darker and morphs into a semi-Siouxsie Sioux before a quick run of “ba-dah-dah-bah-bah”’s and some more deranged wailing.
‘Do Wah Doo’
Singing along with the guitars in the intro, Kate then turns her vocal skills to another paranoid attack on this attractive other lady “Every guy’s checking out her thighs/Everyone thinks that girl’s a lady/But I don’t/I think that girl’s shady.” The upbeat chorus of, “I’ll just read a book instead”, prances along with, as the title suggests, another doo-wop styled 60s inspired pop hit.
Kicking off with a jovial Levellers-esque violin cavorting across bouncy drums, Kate’s 90s shouty girl vocals dilute into a softer and sadder verse alongside mournful strings. Exploding once again with ear-drum shattering shouting, it’s a bit of an aural rollercoaster of a song. The Irish folk strings create a proper barn dance feel towards the end.
‘I’ve Got A Secret’
The dreamy, possessed repetition of “I’ve got a secret/I can’t tell you” is a deserved rest from her squealing and screeching, veiled over crunchy, lo-fi guitars. The song then slows “Why can’t we be friends/You can’t pretend” before growing into a grizzly 90s sounding peak, to the extent that her voice almost becomes similar to Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries.
Kate gets all Scroobius Pip on us and waxes lyrical about sexism (using Dockers MC’s words) wordsfor 1:33 seconds using, until a pounding Bow Wow Wow sounding song booms in with a tropical tinge, as Kate repeatedly sings ‘I don’t have to be your baby’.
Cure-sounding keyboard chimes until a fast-paced series of spitting vocals trickle over handclaps. Kate seems to be angry about the girl that could have been paranoid about in previous songs, and by the sounds of “You lied to me right to my face” it seems she was right in being a bit worried. A classic Nash-styled pop song, ‘Later On’’s pace and melody feels like a giant jump from the previous two songs’ darkness and leftfield approach to pop.
A marching drum proceeds whilst Kate explains kissing someone for the first time, before it transpires into a tragic love song about a doomed relationship. The composition has got a pretty indie-epic Maccabees sound to it with a pulsating drum beat and clanging guitars.
‘You Were So Far Away’
‘You Were So Far Away’ begins with a frantic child-like piano, she describes meeting someone and how their relationship develops. The song plods along innocently and sweetly until a solo violin waves goodbye to the ditty.
‘I Hate Seagulls’
A soft acoustic guitar strums as layers of Kate’s vocals overlap dreamily. A hazy, miasma-like song, with a distant wind blowing sound in the background adds a dusty feel to what’s been such an abrasive album.
A list of things that Kate hates begins against a soft guitar strums, until she lightens up the track by talking about things she likes. A violin and piano move the song’s simplistic lyrics into a stirring ending to the quite muddled and eclectic album.
(Then there’s another secret track which consists of the distant sounding vocals, “You are my best friend”)