Review: Kate Nash – Girl Talk

“You’re trying to tell me sexism doesn’t exist? If it doesn’t exist, then what the fuck is this?” Some of the lyrics from “Rap For Rejection” the 11th track on Kate Nash’s Girl Talk. For this, her third album, Kate Nash has dropped the tinkly piano in favour of a rumbling bass guitar, swapped her signature red mop for a Cruella DeVille inspired black’n’white do, and took a level in badass.

Ripped almost wholesale from the Riot Grrrl school of snarls and surf-rock riffs, it’s no surprise that Girl Talk made Nash’s major label quake in their boots (and later drop the “Foundations” singer). Not one song on the album is a potential chart hit – but it’s entirely apparent that Kate doesn’t give two shits about commercial success.

That’s not to say the songs aren’t catchy as the measles, if sun-drenched Californian punk is your thing. “Fri-end?” and “Death Proof” best showcase Kate’s new sound, with her voice rising to an uncharacteristic howl on the former, while “3AM” is a gentler, bittersweet ode to an ex-boyfriend.

Girl Talk is probably Kate’s most political album yet, with the theme of female empowerment taking centre stage. Old fans may be disappointed by what they perceive to be a sudden change in direction, but in fact this was probably coming down the road all along. Either way, Girl Talk is the work of an artist who knows exactly where she wants to go, and won’t let anyone get in her way.

3.5/5 stars
Valerie Loftus

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