IT IS impossible to listen to Nadine Shah, a young woman from the North East, without thinking of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey; but to label her a copyist would be a mistake of the highest possible order.
Love Your Dum and Mad is the unveiling of a major new talent – albeit one which takes some time to reveal itself.
On first listen, the album sounds claustrophobic, dark and somewhat lacking in melody – but after two or three plays it’s a whole different story.
With its rumbling bass and menacing air, opener Aching Bones is possibly the album’s most perfectly realised PJ Harvey/Nick Cave moment, but it’s far from being a highpoint.
Floating is a breathtaking expression of anger and frustration which doesn’t resort to the massively overused technique of breakneck speed in order to convey its message. Instead, its slow pace puts across weariness and frustration far better than any 100mph screamer ever could.
All I Want, in which Ms Shah comes on like some sultry chanteuse, breathes the same rarefied air, while the hauntingly melodic Used It All completes a central trilogy of perfect tunes in a tremendous debut.