English artist Kate Nash released her fourth studio album, “Yesterday Was Forever,” at the end of March. If you remember Nash’s music, it was probably from the late 2000s when the cheeky lyrics and tinkly piano on her debut album, “Foundations,” flung her into the emerging “twee revolution.” Despite continuing to make music, and even taking on some acting projects, Nash fell out of the public consciousness in the following years. But her fans never left, and
“Yesterday is Forever” was made for them and by them; the album was crowdfunded through Kickstarter.
Nash wanted the album to sound like a “teenage diary,” even taking the name “Yesterday is Forever” from something she found written in one of her own old diaries. She accomplishes this with verified bubble gum pop bops about the usual suspects: dating, drinking, and… mental health? That’s right, before you hear about eating Chinese food and spooning to Buffy on “Take Away,” you hear Nash begging her brain to “decide and stop the pain” on the opener “Life in Pink.” The chorus of “Karaoke Kiss” is perhaps the best merger of these themes, as Nash asks a stranger to “kiss me in the karaoke bar / I need something I feel so dark.” Turning mental health battles into prom-dance anthems validates the melodrama of teenage life. This mashup of innocence and maturity extends from the themes of the album to the sound itself.
From the screeching chorus of “California Poppies” to the spoken word on “Musical Theatre,” “Yesterday Was Forever” is a performative listen that still manages to feel intimate.