My Best Friend Is You

Mockney songbird grows up – but is she any wiser?

Kate Nash has grown up. Where once she warbled about rubbish boyfriends, now she’s singing about cocaine, self-hating sex and coming out of the closet. She’s also grunged-up her sound, lifting a trick or three from boyfriend Ryan Jarman of The Cribs.

What hasn’t changed, alas, is Nash’s horrible contrivance of a singing voice. Famous for rhyming ‘bittah’ with ‘fittah’ on her break-out hit, ‘Foundations’, Nash continues to plumb the depths of mockney self-parody. At moments, it sounds like she’s auditioning for a role on EastEnders.

Still, once you get past the glottal stops and Landahn-isms, there’s lots to enjoy. Her ‘coming out’ tune ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ (it’s about a friend apparently) is the purest pop song she’s ever written. Elsewhere, the single ‘Do Wah Do’ is a teasing kiss-off to a romantic rival whilst the largely acoustic ‘You Were So Far Away’ is a mostly straightforward folk ditty. Perhaps the most striking moment is the spoken-word ‘Mansion Song’, where she rants about drugs, the media and two-faced music industry people. Unfortunately, she chooses to do so against a backdrop of migraine inducing noize-pop. There’s a rrriot going on for sure – but sometimes it isn’t quite clear whether Nash is truly in control of the forces she has unleashed.


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Like Scroobius Pip, Kate Nash’s none-more-London vocals are open to ridicule, but she has so far proved to be quite the charmer. What is most astonishing is how well her songs (previously lo-fi in the extreme) have translated into big, bold pop tunes. ‘Mouthwash’ is easily the equal of ‘Foundations’, its joyful melody helping obscure the limited subject matter. The speed with which she has been thrust into the glare of the public eye might be a concern, but let’s hope Nash can cope with it all.

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