“Check your pulse when I speak.”
Originally I was going to write about Nadine’s new song, Stealing Cars. I started it last night, felt sick and went to bed. A new day has dawned, I’m still ill (Hi Moz!) so I’ve started it again. Why focus on one song when I can just ramble on for a bit about why her voice is probably one of the best things around.
Last year I wrote about Runaway for another website I write for. I didn’t acknowledge how it made me cry instantly. I never mentioned that Nadine’s voice can reduce me to tears instantly. Now I have, I should probably attempt to say why. You can hear proper venom in her voice in Runaway that won me over. Then I started really listening to the lyrics. I love lyrics, probably because at times I’m underdeveloped emotionally but if I could function properly I wouldn’t have filled up so many notebooks nor would I be doing this. You can hear her voice beautifully quake as she sings the chorus, you cling onto it all. You want to yell “whore” with her. Nadine doesn’t yell it, but it’s a word that makes you want to yell. Only if it’s in a song though, don’t go round calling people it. That’s not too polite. The music feels like a train approaching, all you can do is let it pass you by. It builds up hauntingly during the chorus. A year on and the song still gives me goosebumps (I’ve also got the window open.)
Love Your Dum And Mad was 2013’s most underrated record. I don’t care what you say, so many people bypassed such a beauty. Redeem yourself. As far as debut records go, this one is something else. The sheer darkness and Nadine’s way with words would make Nick Cave piss his pants. She’s instantly up there with him. Why? Because she puts you in the moment. I know she’s been compared to the likes of Nick Cave and to an extent it can be tiring. But my god she’s a majestic storyteller like him. She’s got power in her voice like Patti Smith, you can’t help but be in awe of her.
After playing Ville Morose most of today and last night, I am quite keen to start an online petition to get Nadine to sing a full record in French. Listen to it through headphones. No idea what she’s singing, mainly because my French goes as far as “Ou est la piscine” and my fondness for the French word for bin, “poubelle.” The latter probably annoyed my French teacher in school. “OU EST LA POUBELLE MISS!!” I got a C in my GCSE and I did it a year early. Très bon.
I’ve seen a few gigs recently in churches, and I can’t help but think that Nadine’s voice was made for the likes of St Pancras Old Church or the Union Chapel. Her voice is big at the right time in songs. She’s got the kind of voice I wish I had when I sing. It’s best if I don’t sing. Or speak in French. Much like Anna Calvi, she has this dominating deep voice that takes over you and sings with such clarity. She grips you with such a force, you almost don’t notice.
It has never happened before really, but her music reminds me of one of my favourite books, Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant and in places, Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. I don’t know what it is, maybe I go far too deep into things but her music and voice really gives such powerful imagery. Listen to Dreary Town, you’ll probably get what I mean. Her voice on that…if I had the words, I would use them. I don’t have any words to describe how powerful and beautiful it sounds. In some songs her accent comes through, like on Floating when she sings the word “Lover” it comes through. I love hearing accents in songs. Not London accents so much.
There’s a singer I’ve been writing about now for maybe nearly two years called The Long Wives (Brandy St. John) and her voice reminds me of Nadine’s. The way both really put you in the heart of the song with how they project certain words and aren’t afraid to be really open with their words. It’s a level of honesty that is missing in so many. I’m fairly sure if I went to one of Nadine’s shows I’d be the idiot at the back sobbing at every song. Sorry.
This is pretty much all over the place, mainly because I can’t really focus on one thing to write about at a time when it comes to her music. I listen to something, and I’m hit with something else. Sometimes that’s what you need. You don’t always want to feel or think of one thing when you listen to something. You want it all to hit you at once. I’m all for chaos as I loath routines and organisation.
I am fairly sure, and this is just me going by Stealing Cars, that Nadine’s new record which is out next year will be utterly special. A voice likes her’s is rare and divine. It is to be treasured yet played pretty much all the time. I adore the dark and creepy atmosphere in her music mixed with her captivating voice. She’s just sublime. J’adore!