Well, who’d have thought it. Of all the pop stars to get the interweb’s knickers in a twist it was Kate Nash with her new written-and-filmed-in-24-hours song ‘Underestimate the Girl’. Kate’s come back with a bang, a new found love for the bass and an ever so slightly dodgy, culturally appropriated bindi (just throw it away Kate, just throw it away).
Basically, no one can make up their fucking minds about this one little song. After recording her latest album, which is yet to be released, Nash decided to get out all her frustration and write, record and film a video to song in just one day. The song itself is quite honest in revealing its inspirations lie in riot grrrl culture, the punk attitude of The Slits and X-Ray Spex and the experimental nature of The Raincoats. Everett True loves it, apparently Heat magazine want the old Kate back and I… I just don’t know how I feel about it like most people. I don’t like it, but not for the reasons one may think. I’ll try and explain why here but if I waffle, I waffle so here it goes.
When Kate Nash first came onto the music scene I was so relieved. Finally a pop star with talent, that has a knowledge of herstory and can teach young girls and boys to put down that copy of David Guetta (I don’t know what the kids listen to) and get some radical punk in their ears. She had balls, she had hips, she was our pop star.
But then came the disappointment, which isn’t necessarily a fault that can be laid entirely at Nash’s feet. Whenever you put anyone on a pedalstool they’re going to disappoint you at some point. Nash’s second album, My Best Friend Is You, saw her move further towards more experimental, punk orientated styles. While songs like ‘I Just Love You More’ and ‘I’ve Got a Secret’ were truly amazing the rest of the album floundered for me and not because I wanted to hear ‘Foundations’ again. It slumped because it simply wasn’t good enough and this is the problem with ‘UTG’. Nash is talented but sometimes she shoots and simply doesn’t score. I can completely see the direction she was going for with ‘UTG’ and I want to reach that goal, I want her to get there but she didn’t.
Nash has taken to her Tumblr site to dismiss the haters and claims that people only want the old Nash that could still be compared to the old Lily Allen. Well that maybe true for some out there but not for me. I want the future Nash that can mix what she loves about punk and riot grrrl with her own brand of cutesy pop and make an epic record with it. I support all females artists but I also think constructive criticism is a necessity and to deny female musicians of this would be to mollycoddle them and we’re far, far stronger than that. Nash is far, far stronger than that. I still have high hopes for the new album though.