Kate Nash, On Going Back to Pop and Learning to Wrestle

So, Kate Nash hasn’t exactly been missing, but it has been a while since we’ve heard from her… musically at least.  Last month the British songstress released Yesterday Was Forever, her first full-length since 2013’s Girl Talk, and earlier this month she kicked off her first US tour in nearly five years.  Meanwhile, Kate Nash’s career as an actor has sky-rocketed in recent years, most notably for her role as a female wrestler in the hit Netflix series GLOW (whose second season is coming soon!!!)

We first met Kate Nash in 2007, when her debut record, Made of Bricks, proved her to be the reigning queen of sassy piano pop.  However, over the course of her next two albums, 2010’s My Best Friend is You and Girl Talk, she found herself taking up the role of a riot grrrl icon and began kicking out jams more of the post-punk, garage, and ‘90s alt rock persuasion.  On Yesterday Was Forever she definitely goes poppier than she has in some time, but with a brassiness that could have had her ruling the mainstage of Lollapalooza in 1995.

Kate Nash is currently wrapping up her current batch of US dates and this Thursday, April 26th, she will headline our very own Theatre of Living Arts, her first show in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection since 2013 (To be fair, she did play here three times that year…) and, on her album release day, I got a chance to catch up with Ms. Nash for the first time since, and she assures me that she’s as big a fan of ours as we are of hers.

“I love playing Philly.  I always have a good time.  It’s very lovely.  I just love Philly.”

Although Kate Nash hasn’t done a proper US tour in quite some time, she has done a number of mini-treks and festival appearances over the years and she did a major tour of the UK last year, with our buddies Skating Polly, celebrating the 10th anniversary of her debut (which, to be honest, I’m still pretty bitter we didn’t get to see stateside…)  When I ask her what have been some of the highlights of the time since her last US tour, she mentions these shows, in addition to her now nearly-full-time gig as an actor: “SXSW last year was great.  I guess GLOW has also really been a highlight and the 10-year anniversary of Made of Bricks was so fucking fun.  Learning to wrestle has been really cool [laughs].”  I’m curious how acting compares to her time as a musician and she tells me that it really doesn’t… and that’s actually something she’s a bit thankful for.

“It’s completely different.  I love being able to create a character.  It’s so nice.  With acting it’s like you’re a piece of the pie, as opposed to being a musician and creating the pie, when you’re always like, ‘It has to be perfect.’”

Although more playful than her past couple releases, Yesterday Was Forever may be Kate Nash’s boldest album yet, dealing with topics such as mental health and failed relationships, but filled with bubblegum punchlines.  I ask Kate how she would characterize her latest album and she says, “Going back to my pop roots, but with the confidence of doing Girl Talk and having 11-12 years of doing this,” and also goes on to cite MIA, Alicia Keys, The Velvet Underground and country as significant influences on her latest sounds.  Finally, when I ask what can be expected of the live show on this tour, she tells me that it will definitely be something that we haven’t seen of her before, but that she likes the idea of being able to do something a little different every night: “Each record is specific, so each tour has to cater to that album.  For this tour, we’re doing like 56 songs in rehearsal, like Springsteen [laughs].  We won’t probably play all 56, but we’ll be ready [laughs].”