Tag Archives: Nadine Shah

Nadine Shah’s Haunting Voice Resonates With Empathy

Nadine Shah

Photo by Julia Romanovskaya.

It’s only been four years since U.K.-based singer-songwriter Nadine Shah released Love Your Dum and Mad, her mournful full-length debut, but in those four years, Shah has gone beyond that album’s grim, dark rock, expanding into music that is brighter and more immediately melodic while still retaining its post-punk edge. On her latest, Holiday Destination, Shah confronts antipathy and xenophobia, but also addresses the way those attitudes can personally impact other people.

Though Shah’s three albums are musically quite different, they’re united by her haunting voice. That voice, a rich alto that’s both bottomless and shimmering, projects strength and vulnerability in equal measure. It is deep and dark and warm all at once. She sings achingly about loss and suicide on Love Your Dum and Mad, with poignant passion on Fast Food, and with measured political anger on Holiday Destination. All these feelings stem from Shah’s profound sense of empathy, whether it’s for her own departed lovers or for refugees arriving in Turkey.

We spoke with Shah about the rise of nationalism around the world, her new record, and how to take care of oneself while working for mental health reform.

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