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For most of us, 2016 was a tumultuous and ugly year - one steeped in political chaos and an air of uncertainty. For Nadine Shah, these headlines had been a big part of her life for years and ‘Holiday Destination’ - her brilliant and compelling third album out on 1965 Records - sees her stepping out of the shadow of the complicated relationships she examined on her second album ‘Fast Food’ and taking account of the world at large.
Shah pulls no punches, exploring equally pertinent, difficult topics with similar intelligence and personality; from global issues such as the Calais refugee crisis and the Syrian civil war, to the more personal problems of inner turmoil surrounding the pressure of social conforming, the state of our mental health and simply encouraging others to have empathy. However, despite its themes, ‘Holiday Destination’ is anything but a difficult listen. From the off it immediately becomes apparent that Shah and collaborator, co-writer and producer Ben Hillier’s knack for sharp hooks and rhythms have only progressed further.
For Shah, the first ideas for ‘Holiday Destination’ came back in 2014: “I saw this really shocking news piece. It was about migrants and refugees turning up on the shores of Kos in Greece by the thousands. There were some holidaymakers being interviewed and they were talking about how ‘they’re really ruining our holiday’. The fact that they had no shame in saying that whilst being interviewed, on national television... it really shocked me. This is what I am seeing across the globe: people unashamedly saying these awful things. It’s like, wow - people really don’t care and they’ll happily talk about how they don’t care. That’s why it’s called ‘Holiday Destination’.”
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