Album of the Week: Nadine Shah’s Holiday Destination

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Nadine Shah was born in Britain to a British mother of Norwegian ancestors and a Pakistani father. The genesis of Holiday Destination, her third album, just out from 1965 Records, occurred back in 2014, as Shah explains in the PR release for the album:

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.”

After tackling issues like mental health and social stigma in her previous work, this time the singer/songwriter’s post-punk has taken a strong political stance:

So on this one trip to the States, I’m taken to the other side of the airport in this room where everyone in the room has brown skin—and they’re all looking at me like “What the fuck are you doing here?!” I just made this joke; I just said—”Oh, I’m Pakistani.” And then everyone started to laugh. But it’s just like—that’s totally about a rise in nationalism that I’m seeing. It’s completely terrifying. Even on Twitter I’ve had people telling me “Oh, go back to where you’ve come from”—and I’m like what? South Shields? It’s a proper identity crisis for me. I’m a second-generation immigrant—I was born in England, I’m very English—proper fucking English, mate! […] But I’m also culturally Muslim.

Watch two videos off the new album below!


Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →