Men really need to shut up and start listening to women. If there’s one lesson I’ve truly tried to learn over the course of my idiotic existence, that’s it. So I’m not going to start mansplaining the impetus, importance and impact of acclaimed U.K. indie-rock singer-songwriter Nadine Shah’s fantastic fourth album Kitchen Sink, a concept album about womanhood, sexuality, sexism and gender politics in contemporary society. I will just respectfully make the following observations: 1 | Her provocative and personal lyrics are razor-sharp, laser-focused and thought-provoking; 2 | Her vocal delivery is deep and richly soulful yet darkly intense; 3 | The noirish musical tracks that bolster it all — co-written and performed with longtime collaborator Ben Hiller — offer a superbly stylish and innovative collision between classic pop songcraft and abrasively edgy electronic textures (and are nowhere near as overloaded or pedestrian as the album title might imply). Beyond that, the best advice I can give you is to shut up and listen.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Nadine Shah‘s fourth studio album Kitchen Sink is the followup to her Mercury Prize-nominated 2017 album Holiday Destination — a triumphant unification of a political message with an infectiously driving groove. With the same ferocious determination and distinct voice, Shah now turns her sights closer to home with an album that explores her own story as a woman in her 30s and the societal pressures and expectations that come with that. The album also tells the stories of countless other women she has met and their differing yet equally very similar experiences. Shah explains more saying: “It’s a conversation between me and so many of my friends in our 30s. There’s that panic that so many of us have that we are running out of time, when it comes to having children. It’s like when we were younger we all made our own timelines in our minds of when we thought we would do certain things. If you were to tell 14-year-old me I’d be 34, unmarried and have no children I’d have never believed it. Lots of my friends I’ve spoken to did this very same thing. For the album I spoke to so many women. Women who want to have children and can’t physically, women who can physically but choose not to, all different scenarios. My good friend, a woman in her late 50s chose not to have children and continues to be one of my favourite musicians and most youthful vibrant person I know. Her story is in this album too. Essentially I’m writing about so many women that I just love. The new mothers, the rock stars, the ones doubting themselves who need our support, the ones who are ill but show an indescribable strength. There’s traditions that were set out years ago of how our lives should be and that has changed completely now and I for one am so proud to be a woman and to be surrounded by even greater ones.” Kitchen Sink was produced by longtime collaborator and producer Ben Hillier (Blur, Doves, Depeche Mode) who also co-wrote and played most of the instruments on the album.”