The multi-faceted musician has always done whatever she wanted, and that's beautiful
On this day in 2007, Kate Nash released Made of Bricks and became the most talked-about artist in England.
She had previously been floated by Lily Allen, who, like Nash, made snarky pop songs camouflaged in an eerie jubilance. Nash's debut, which was propelled by the sleeper hit "Foundations," skyrocketed her to commercial success at just 20-years-old. She performed at festivals across the country, conquered late-night TV performances, and developed a buzzing reputation as Britain's next big pop star.
But as a young girl thrust into the spotlight, Nash soon began drifting away from the bubbly pop aroma that had defined her career so far. Her sophomore album, My Best Friend Is You, was bigger and brasher than its predecessor, harboring sounds reminiscent of Sonic Youth and Bikini Kills, among others. The effort was met with positive reviews. With lyrics like "I wanna be f*cked and then rolled over, cause I'm an independent woman of the twenty-first century; no time for knits, I want sex and debauchery," Nash was no longer squeaky-clean.
"I kind of got to a point where I just didn't really feel anything," Nash said of her explosive fame. "I [didn't] care, I was exhausted... and that made me feel guilty." She soon after decided just to do whatever the f*ck she wanted.
Kate Nash - Death Proof www.youtube.com
So on 2013's Girl Talk, Nash fully abandoned her mid-aughts aesthetic and put out a punk rock record rank with "Yas Queen" energy. Her label detested the new sound and slowed down the album's production to make edits and remove the punk rock energy. She was eventually dropped via text message, so Nash founded her own label, Have 10p Records, and crowdfunded the entire project. "The men that I worked with didn't look after me. They worked me like a donkey, and I made loads of money for them," Nash said in her documentary Underestimate The Girl. "I decided, I don't care what you think, I'm going to make punk rock music. Soon as I made something creatively different, they just ditched me."
Surf punk, '60s psychedelia, grunge, the riot grrrl movement, all of it came into play on Girl Talk and set off a chain of events that would change Nash's career trajectory forever. Critics largely panned the album, and Nash became exhausted by the grind of indie life. Her documentary candidly explored this in-depth and followed the post-Girl Talk Nash as she frankly relented on the perils of fame for female musicians.
GLOW 1x07 Rhonda singing www.youtube.com
But Nash, being the pioneer that she is, bounced back with a vengeance. She landed a recurring role on Netflix's Glow, and finally returned to music in 2018 with Yesterday Was Forever, an album that amalgamates all of Nash's previous identities. The project was also entirely crowdfunded. "It really is about your journey with yourself, not what anyone else thinks," Nash said in a 2019 interview. "Once you fully accept who you are, then you're gonna be drawing better people into your life."
So as the anniversary for Made of Bricks comes and goes, it's refreshing to think that Nash's career was more colorful and fulfilling than that of a flash-in-the-pan pop star. Her relentless authenticity, grind, and unshakeable self-worth led her to be a champion of the female musician.
Her career trajectory was demonstrative of the drawbacks of mainstream success. Men in power have seriously f*cked over the careers of countless mega talents, but Nash's tumultuous journey also highlights the power of knowing your own self-worth, that if you stick to your values, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. With that said, 2007's "Merry Happy" seems to take on a whole new meaning: "Obviously, you didn't want to stick around, so I learned from you."
Made of Bricks
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There's an entire genre of YouTube videos that consists of nothing but news bloopers, and they're equal parts hilarious and panic-inducing.
"Right after the break, we're going to interview Erik Weihenmayer, who climbed the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, but he's gay—I mean, he's gay, excuse me, he's blind."
Back in the early 2000's a young news anchor in New Mexico had a slip of the tongue on live TV that has enterred the annals of news blooper history.
Gay Mount Everest www.youtube.com
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If you're anything like us, you're probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
We're here to make your music discovery a little bit easier. Popdust's weekly Indie Roundup finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don't have to. Every Friday, we'll tell you what's worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.