Nash is nervous because the pop-star train that sped her from 2007 to 2008, powered by her hit debut Made of Bricks, is about to start chugging again after a year of “life, really,” she says. “Being a person. Getting a flat. Buying a bunny rabbit. Passing my driving test.”
Though Bricks—with its charming kiss off “Foundations”—drew comparisons to Regina Spektor’s enchanting lilt and Lily Allen’s cutting English wit, Nash demonstrated her own knack for capturing idiosyncratic relationships in piano-pop tunes. One tune, for example, found her wondering, “Why you being a dickhead for?” over a muted soul groove. Another pondered being shat upon by birds flying overhead.
After more than a year of touring, though, Nash felt she’d lost touch with herself—her “anti-celebrity” persona had become a bit of a persona on its own. So she disappeared from the spotlight, and of her second album she says, “Fame didn’t factor into my writing.”
During her break, Nash started listening to ’60s girl groups and riot grrrl punk, which both pushed her to pick up her pen. “Being a woman was important to me on this album, so I wanted to be inspired by women,” she said. “I wanted to mix The Supremes and Bikini Kill.”
The result isn’t too far off. Lead single “Do-Wah Do” is a flailing rocker with a Motown beat and lyrics about boys blindly falling for a “shady” girl. The endlessly catchy “Kiss That Girl” is an aggressive Little Eva update where Nash feels insecure seeing her man next to a girl whose “feet don’t even stink.”
“Everyone’s felt like that—you need that person to be dedicated to you and not look at anyone else,” she says. “It’s quite romantic.”