The reinvention of Kate Nash has been as unorthodox as it has fascinating. From unlikely chart-topper to DIY punk and Netflix star (seriously, watch GLOW for a glimpse of Nash as you’ve never seen her before), it’s been a hectic ride for the London singer. Along the way, she’s set up her own record label, delivered school workshops for aspiring female musicians and written music for Willow Smith. It’s fair to say Nash’s career has been about as atypical as her music, her tracks having continued to push boundaries since her debut album was released back in 2007.
Nash is currently gearing up to release her fourth studio album, Yesterday Was Forever, at the end of March. Having already debuted the album’s lead single ‘Drink About You’, Nash has shared a second cut from the record – the gutsy mental-health-themed track ‘Life In Pink’.
As far as opening lines go, Nash sure knows how to make you sit up and listen. “I think about death all the time,” she sighs over strummed acoustic guitar, following it up with a deadpan “do you think that’s morbid?” But this is rhetorical, Nash pushing on with the morbidity anyway. On ‘Life In Pink’, Nash details the minutiae of a mental health crisis, refusing to apologise for something that’s beyond her control. “Yeah I’m hungry but I don’t even feel like eating,” she sings, insisting “I’m trying / I’m not lying,” already anticipating the raised eyebrows of unconvinced friends.
‘Life In Pink’ is a patchwork infusing a gravelly punk aesthetic with colourful pop explosions, the jumbled nature likely an intentional reflection of a chaotic, disordered state of mind. Nash has previously spoken openly about her own mental health, discussing a “proper breakdown” in 2008 that saw her experience symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. As she belts her way through her newest track, there’s little doubt these are the words of a woman who knows how it feels to spend the day in bed, looking at a messy bedroom and a messier life, and wanting it all to just fuck off. Her wish she could “let my brain decide and stop the pain,” is surely one that will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced a dip in their mental wellbeing, or reached for a pair of metaphorical “heart-shaped glasses” just to get through the day.
As well as embracing a topic rarely covered in pop music (why isn’t ‘mental health banger’ a thing yet?), it just so happens ‘Life In Pink’ is one of Nash’s best tracks since the late noughties. A hook-heavy garage-pop riot, ‘Life In Pink’ shows her at her most audacious, addressing the topic of mental health with a cocktail of gritty guitars, punk-pop principles and heaps of that typical Nash-brand candour.