Search The Line of Best Fit
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Kate Nash is doing things her own way

12 June 2024, 10:30
Words by Adam England
Original Photography by Alice Baxley

In the run-up to her fifth album, Kate Nash tells Adam England about being back on a label, rediscovering her love for her earlier work and finding a new fanbase through TikTok

After almost two decades in the music industry, Kate Nash has got a lot to say. And, with her latest album 9 Sad Symphonies set for release on 21 June via Kill Rock Stars, she’s letting her music do the talking.

“There are a lot of string arrangements,” says Nash. “It’s inspired heavily by musical theatre, because I was working on a musical in New York in 2022. We wanted to make something that sounded quite cinematic and focus on the beauty.”

Nash worked with the Danish producer Frederik Thaae; the two have collaborated for some years now. “I love his sound and the way we could write songs together really quickly. We just have a really good time, and I felt he understood my way of speaking about music,” she explains.


9 Sad Symphonies is Nash’s first album since 2018’s Yesterday Was Forever, which she funded through Kickstarter. She never intended to have such a large gap between albums – after shooting a season of Netflix’s GLOW, she was ready to write another album, and then COVID-19 shut everything down.

Did the pandemic end up influencing the album? “Maybe it did,” Nash ponders. “There’s a lot of depression in the album; a loss of spark. It was a moment in life to relearn how to value yourself without the thing you do, because our jobs define a lot of our lives, especially with what I do. Not being able to do it was a weird feeling. How do you keep yourself feeling positive? It did make you have to go back to [thinking] what is the purpose of life? When it gets taken away it was like, well, who am I without this?”

Kate Nash 5 by Alice Baxley 1920x1080 landscape

This existential reflection comes through in the record; it’s a bit slower than Nash’s previous work, perhaps more melancholic in places. During the time between albums, Nash also released a number of singles herself. Three of them – ’Misery’, ‘Horsie’, and ‘Wasteman’ – are on 9 Sad Symphonies’s tracklist.

“I wasn’t signed [at the time],” Nash explains, “I was just distributing songs that I wanted to push forward. I put it out there that I didn’t have a label and realised I was ready for one again, but I wasn't sure who the right partner was.”

So she went out to find the right fit, which turned out to be Kill Rock Stars, an independent label based in the Pacific Northwest that’s heavily associated with Riot grrrl and has boasted the likes of Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and Gossip over the years.

It was through TikTok (which Nash began to take seriously after it partnered with the BRIT Awards to allow people to vote through the platform) that she found the label. Though she's not a fan of labels telling their artists to try and make music with TikTok virality in mind, she finds it beneficial in terms of making herself and her music more familiar to a younger demographic.

It’s been almost 17 years since she released her debut album, Made of Bricks, which she describes as being “like my child.” Many of the people on TikTok coming across Nash, now 36, weren’t even born then, but through the app they’ve become fans. There are certainly parallels between this and the way in which Nash and many of her contemporaries - Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen among them - gained popularity through sites such as Myspace in the mid-2000s.

“I feel like I need to explain who I am and to talk about my story, and it's funny because every time I do that, people are like, ‘You don't need to explain who you are,’ and I'm like ‘I do, because every time I do, it gets more views and it reaches people,’” she laughs.

Nash actually toured Made of Bricks for its tenth anniversary in 2017, something she describes as “very healing” due to the negative associations she’d attached to the album.

“When I was coming out in 2007, older men in journalism would be like, ‘Oh, silly little teenage girl writing in her fucking diary, how boring. We want men who talk about real things like being drunk and girls,” she remarks dryly. “But I’m talking about being drunk and boys. Like, what?”

Though her past critics might not have been ideal, Nash does describe her fans as "the best in the world", and it’s clear that she loves seeing such a wide variety of people at her shows. If you were a teenager when Nash first stormed onto the charts, you’d be in your early thirties by now. Many fans from this generation (and beyond) still remain, but there are teenagers too.

Some of the biggest stars on the planet right now are young women who blew up at a similar age to Nash – take Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo, now 22 and 21 respectively. But Nash isn’t sure whether or not she sees herself as a role model for younger artists coming through, as much as she’s a huge fan of artists in their twenties, such as Connie Constance and Joy Crookes.

She waxes lyrical about the former – “I fucking love Connie, she’s one of my favourites” – who recently opened for her. “When I found out she was a fan of me, I was like, ‘I can’t believe this,’” she says, “The kids that grew up listening to me are that cool, because she’s so fucking cool to me.”

Meanwhile, Crookes even emulated Nash’s haircut as a child. “She sent me this photo, trying to get my haircut. She used to draw me! These are the coolest artists around. So I feel very honoured to be of any sort of inspiration. They’re amazing.”


Throughout our conversation, Nash is full of smiles and friendliness, and it all feels refreshingly genuine. Whether she’s laughing at anecdotes or complimenting the stylistic choices of the waitress coming over with coffees, it’s like meeting up with an old friend.

She explains that there aren’t any shows or movies in the pipeline, but it feels as though this summer will be an exciting one with some eagerly awaited tour dates and festival appearances. “I'm in my Bruce Springsteen era now. I've got so many songs – I've been going for so long. I do at least two-hour shows,” she says, being coy about giving anything away in terms of the setlist.

As she gears up to have five albums under her belt, she concludes, “I'm more experienced. I'm more confident. I'm older. I know what I'm doing more.” She might be back on a label, but Kate Nash is doing things firmly on her terms.

9 Sad Symphonies is out on 21 June via Kill Rock Stars

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