Get it? Spirit-ed?
There’s an irresistible frenetic energy about Kate Nash’s brand new single that’s driving all of us to raise a glass. An unapologetic anthem aglow with post-breakup obsession and angsty self-doubt, “Drink About You” is the full package: A massive, confessional explosion of desire and insecurities that balances dark, serious themes with an enthusiastic gaiety.
When I wake up
And we break up
I kinda wish you liked me more
But I don’t care much
I look so cute but
I’m also kinda scary
I freak you out for Halloween
I drive, I drive you crazy
“Drink About You” – Kate Nash
The lead single off Kate Nash’s forthcoming fourth album Yesterday Was Forever (out March 30, 2018), “Drink About You” plays out like a Taylor Swift song, if Taylor Swift had a sense of humor. Nash’s ability to expose relatable feelings, without dwelling in them, makes her music accessible to all audiences: Listeners who need to expel or embrace their lovelorn emotions can take as much away from this song, as listeners looking simply to let loose or get fired up.
Like a Shakespearean play, “Drink About You” operates on many levels, each one as justified and salient as the last. Lyrically, the song finds the narrator wallowing in sadness and self-pity. The hapless romantic begins her tragedy by noting how every day she feels love’s sick sting again and again: “When I wake up, and we break up…” It’s a seemingly endless cycle with no clear end in sight:
I’m sick and tired of being such a hypocrite
I’m kinda over being over it all
I think you hate yourself
I think I hate me even more
I can’t remember what happened before
Taken at face-value, the literal reading of “Drink About You” is overwhelmingly raw. Had Nash released this as a slower, maybe acoustic ballad, we’d feel shivers – perhaps we’d call this song “breathtakingly honest,” “a poignant expression of suffering.” Remember what happened when Bruce Springsteen revamped “Born in the USA”?
But Nash didn’t do that. “Drink About You” doesn’t wallow in despair – instead, Nash straight-up indulges in it, bursting out with the energy of a teen falling in love for the very first time. By basking in her own light, Nash sends a message that it’s okay to be you – you can’t let other people shape who you are.
Even if that means getting hurt once in a while.
Well there’s no one that I think about more than you
Spots are coming out on me what should I do?
And when the other boys tell me that we’re through
I’ll only drink about you-oo!
Directed by HOLYCHILD’s Liz Nistico, the “Drink About You” music video brings out the track’s many sides. Shot in Los Angeles National Forest with home made, DIY-inspired art and effects, the video unleashes Nash’s wild side. She exudes a fearless, defiant charisma as she shouts her song to the surrounding wilderness; watching her, you get the sense that she refuses to let love get her down, even though she’s tearing up inside.
“It’s an unhealthy obsession,” Nash says, referring to a tendency to obsess on someone after breaking up. “You imagine things are better than they are and latch on to whatever you can about the relationship that could be turned to good. And you deal with the pain in an unhealthy way too.” Like drinking to excess, and countless other forms of bingeing.
You can take it as a lovesick anthem, or you can take it as a greater critique of how we as a people handle relationships, intimacy, romance, and insecurities.
It’s only love but
I think I taste blood
I think you kick me in the gut
And I’m covered in mud!
And when it comes to sex
We are simply the best
My heart is beating in the jungle
And I’m pounding my chest!
Nash calls her fourth album “an excerpt from a teenage diary.” “Drink About You” certainly captures teen angst at its fullest, leaving us to wonder if Yesterday Was Forever will dive deeper into heartache and hardship, or balance pain with sarcasm, comedy and lighter flourishes, as we see here. Either way, Kate Nash is tapping into something universal in her new music, and it feels good. A potent cocktail brimming with enthusiastic power-pop energy and feelgood, self-deprecating delight, “Drink About You” is one intoxicating spirit you can play on repeat.
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photo © HOLYCHILD