Nadine Shah: Holiday Destination review – simmering post-punk from the edge

(1965 Records)

Nadine Shah doesn’t hold back on her third album, a powerful state-of-the-world address. The title track – inspired by witnessing the xenophobia of holidaymakers on the island of Kos – looks at the wider treatment of refugees and asks “How you gonna sleep tonight?” The north-easterner (of Norwegian-Pakistani heritage) brings personal experience and powerful argument to Out the Way’s dissection of anti-immigration feeling (“Where would you have me go? I’m second-generation, don’t you know?”). The song 2016 looks especially prescient in light of Charlottesville (“There’s a fascist in the Whitehouse”). Such zingers are delivered over darkly classy post-punk, in which the ghosts of PJ Harvey and Siouxsie and the Banshees hover over grinding guitars and rasping sax. Yes Men is the catchiest of some strong (if not always immediate) tunes, put together with long-term collaborator, Ben Hillier. She’s not yet gone for the poppier approach to take her messages more mainstream, but few current artists make music with such a simmering edge.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Nadine Shah: Fast Food review – passion-drenched but poised love songs
Nadine Shah’s classy second album is full of cool taunts and strikingly sultry music

Maddy Costa

09, Apr, 2015 @8:45 PM

Article image
Nadine Shah: ‘I was determined for people to hear I was Pakistani’
The theatrical goth-pop singer has always felt like an outsider. Now she’s using her newfound fame to speak out about mental health issues and why indie music needs a change

Harriet Gibsone

30, Apr, 2015 @5:29 PM

Article image
Nadine Shah (No 1,366)

Her dark tales of lust, loss and vengeance bring to mind Broken English-era Marianne Faithfull and are due belated critical acclaim

Paul Lester

05, Oct, 2012 @8:00 AM

Article image
Nadine Shah: 'One Glastonbury, I washed my hands in the men's urinals'
The singer on channelling her inner Barry White, meeting the Dalai Lama and scaring off Jarvis Cocker

Kate Hutchinson

30, Jun, 2019 @11:34 AM

Article image
Nadine Shah: musician says she was sexually assaulted in London
The British singer-songwriter shared photos of her wounds from the attack, alleged to have taken place last month, in the wake of a second, verbal assault

Laura Snapes

04, Oct, 2021 @2:12 PM

Article image
Nadine Shah review – 'She commands complete attention'

This is a dramatic, compelling performance and one far removed from the down-to-earth Geordie revealed between songs, writes Betty Clarke

Betty Clarke

27, Mar, 2014 @6:00 PM

Article image
Nadine Shah review – irresistible, inimitable and powerful
Shah is formidable, and puts so much into her bleakly haunting performance that she occasional recoils from the mic, as if drained

Dave Simpson

15, Apr, 2015 @12:55 PM

Article image
Wire: Nocturnal Koreans review – abstract pop from post-punk heroes

Dave Simpson

21, Apr, 2016 @8:45 PM

Article image
Nadine Shah: Kitchen Sink review – razor-sharp observations
The singer-songwriter’s follow-up to Holiday Destination is a slow-burning joy

Phil Mongredien

28, Jun, 2020 @12:00 PM

Article image
Tracey Thorn, Nadine Shah and Peggy Gou top Aim independent music awards
The awards for the best in British independent music acknowledged a wide-ranging series of names, from Goldie to Idles and Sophie

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

04, Sep, 2018 @9:00 PM