Growing up in a small coastal village in the north east of England the daughter of a Norwegian woman and a Pakistani man, Nadine Shah’s back story already has the makings of a romantic novel.
She has already added her own chapter with her splendid debut album Love Your Dum And Mad, which earned her comparisons with the likes of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey.
Her second album sees her move onwards and upwards with her soulful voice finding a home amongst rich and dramatic songs full of tales of love and heartbreak.
Or as Shah puts it: “I suppose it’s a coming of age album of sorts lyrically. Rejecting the romanticised idea of ‘perfect love’ and maturing in respects to relationships and accepting partners’ pasts.’’
With her trusted collaborator and producer Ben Hillier, who has worked with the likes of Blur and Depeche Mode, she has blossomed as a songwriter on Fast Food.
She comments on working with Hillier: “This is the second album we’ve written together and we’re much quicker and less precious with ideas.’’
Shah’s voice is a memorable one – capable of being both gently confessional and filled with a powerful fury.
This time there is less piano and more guitar and highlights include the bittersweet Fool to the warmth and passion of Matador and Nothing Else To Do.
With Fast Food, Shah satisfies the appetite but paradoxically leaves you wanting more.