By Kate Giff
Last year, Kate Nash announced that she wanted to release her 4th album but that she needed some help. After parting with her record label, Kate was going it alone, calling on her fans to raise the money for production of the album via Kickstarter. I, along with thousands of others, pledged money in return for exclusive content and the promise of being kept in the loop as she began bringing Yesterday Was Forever to life. £20 of my student loan bought me a digital download and a physical CD, as well as a feeling that I was part of Kate’s girl gang. Last week, Kate’s fourth studio album was released to a rush of love and appreciation from fans, with critics hailing this as her “best music to date.”
Kate shapes Yesterday Was Forever as a confessional; diary entries set to music. Every song is personal and honest. She is open about her mental health: in ‘Life In Pink’, she wishes she “could go back to a time when [her] mental health was fine”. In ‘Today’ she hopes that “I won’t be scared at all/ When a stranger sits too close to me, I won’t panic/ I won’t feel my skin crawl…”. ‘Musical Theatre’ is urgent and wild, personifying the thought process of a panic attack, tarnishing the shiny exterior of life as a pop star. These serious thoughts are juxtaposed against good old fashioned love songs, and sweet my-life-is-a-bit-of-a-mess-but-let’s-have-a-boogy bops. ‘Karaoke Kiss’ is a great example of this; a simple synth-pop beat and some relatable pining. The adorably strange ‘My Little Alien’ (which is actually about her dog, Stella) is a gorgeously simple love song that doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/katenash/
Kate Nash knows that she is an imperfect person and therein lies her charm. She’s unapologetic about her music; she doesn’t need songs to rhyme, and serious topics don’t have to be presented seriously. This makes “Yesterday Was Forever” difficult to criticize; this is something for Nash and her fans to enjoy and it isn’t trying to be anything else. Sure, some of the rhymes are predictable and her lyrics aren’t cloaked in symbolism, but this fits with the theme of the record. To say that it’s dicult to criticize doesn’t mean that this is a perfect album, but Kate and her team know how to produce songs to bring out their best, and I’m impressed with the arrangement and composition of almost every track.
During her career, Nash has been pop, punk rock, pop punk and in Yesterday Was Forever she’s a bit of everything. She recognises her forays into different genres in ‘California Poppies’ and ‘Always Shining’ where she slips into screams. Kate knows that her voice can do gentle and hardcore, and she’s not afraid to show this range. If you’re looking for “Made Of Bricks” era Nash in this album, you may be disappointed. While the essence of Kate’s songs are similar to what she has done before, this is a different woman to the one we met in her debut. She is undoubtedly stronger, seems more comfortable and takes more risks. You may not recognise the artist as you thought you would, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Photo Credit: Kate Bellm
Kate Nash is a great example of how women in the music industry can be overlooked and underestimated but can rise above it. Preyed on by lecherous male industry heads for years, she decided to surround herself with women and now tours with an all-female band. Failed by a record company, she made her fans her label. She is an amazing example of how powerful a woman can be when she is autonomous, as Yesterday Was Forever proves.
Listen To: My Little Alien, Musical Theatre, Karaoke Kiss, Always Shining