Kate Nash 

Girltalk

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You might remember Kate Nash and her 2007 hit single, "Foundations." It's our personal opinion that the track spawned many a break up (at least one for Yours Truly) as well as the singer's career. Nash went on to win a slew of BRIT awards including Best Female Artist and the album on which the song appeared went platinum. And though she released a follow-up record that was probably only slightly less poppy than Made of Bricks, her third release, Girl Talk, is something totally different for the British songstress.

While still retaining the sugary sweet vocals she's known for, Nash's new record took a turn for the punk, a direction neither she nor her fans were expecting. And although there were plenty of naysayers (including her record company, Universal) who cautioned Kate to stick with the snark pop she's known for, Nash said from the beginning that Girl Talk was a record that had to be made.

The catalyst for the sharp turn in musical direction? Another one of those pesky break-ups. But Nash says she doesn't want people to think of the record as a break-up album, even though the album's lead single and video are clearly devoted to post-relationship heartache. Instead, however, Nash wants people to focus on the evolution of her sound, something that's become increasingly important to the 26-year-old.

"I think that change is really important," she says during a recent chat we had with the singer. "It comes with age and I think it can only be a good thing."

The change in direction has kept her moving forward as an artist as well.

"I think it keeps you inspired and interested," she says. "And it keeps fans interested as well."

As for that old sound that initially attracted dedicated legions both overseas and in the states as well, while it doesn't sound like she'll be returning to the days of Made of Bricks or My Best Friend is You anytime soon, that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy tunes like "Mariella" and "Kiss That Grrrl" anymore.

"It still exists," says Nash of those records and that particular sound. "You don't have to miss it. I look at the old stuff as treasures, you can still enjoy it."

While encouraging her fans to hold fast to the records that first brought her to prominence, Nash is wholly focused on Girl Talk and its eminent release. And while the writing and recording process was a long one, she says the final days of working on the album were bittersweet.

"The last day we had a party and I was kind of sad thinking that it was coming to an end. But I felt a bit free and liberated. It is an amazing memory in my life. After getting it done and doing all the back and forth with it and then just letting it go," she says.

That "back and forth" process was one of rediscovery for Nash, a totally different way of going about making music for the singer and just one of the ways she's evolving and growing as an artist. And there are even more new things she's been taking on lately as well.

Having taken up with an L.A.-based group called FIDLAR, Nash has been getting into some new collaborations. Lending her vocals to the group's single "Awwwkwaarrrddd," she's even further ingraining herself in the punk scene she's recently become so enamored with.

And other than switching it up musically, Nash has been getting into some pretty interesting hobbies.

Currently working as a Because I am A Girl ambassador for Plan International USA, Nash recently took a trip to Africa that she says totally validated her derision of fabricated pop.

"These girls are just all really open with you," says Nash of the children she worked with while in Ghana. "They gave me more balls in a way. They made me feel more validated. They're looking for something real. It made me feel like I have this little army of girls behind me."

While Nash says she was behind and all for her new record from the start, after the trip, she knew with even more gusto that Girl Talk had to be made.

"It's just really fucking wicked," she says. "This is something real. That's what these girls are looking for. It's like just because someone spoon feeds you crap your whole life it doesn't mean you don't want to eat anything but crap."

It's clear Nash has an affinity for connecting with folks, fans or not. And that's exactly what she'll be doing when she comes to Detroit on 3/16. Though it's been quite a while since she's been to Michigan (about four years according to Nash), she's eager to give her fans the intimate experience that the Magic Bag allows.

"I think most bands say they prefer to perform in intimate venues and I also feel like I really enjoy it," she says. "I feel like I'm sharing something with them. It's cool being able to look everyone in the eye." | RDW

Kate Nash • 3/16, 8 p.m. • The Magic Bag • 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale • Themagicbag.com • 248.544.3030 • $15

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