More than three years after the gold-selling â€˜Firesâ€™, Nerina Pallot has shaken up her sound, shrugged off the spectre of singer/songwriter and produced an album of clever, classy pop. The Graduate has piano-driven songs high on happy pills, woozy electronics and beefed up bass.
Where guitars would once have swooned, now they swagger and there is a new-found feistiness to Pallotâ€™s emotive vocals. Occasionally, the Brit and Ivor Novello-nominated singer strays so far from the haunting sound of her former hit singles, she is almost unrecognisable. Sometimes, she pulls off a ballad of such breathtaking beauty it could be by no-one else
Self-produced and recorded in the North London studio she shares with her husband, Grammy-nominated producer Andrew Chatterley, The Graduate took shape after two turbulent years in Pallotâ€™s life.
The first found her struggling with any sustained creativity in the midst of the promotion and touring in support of Fires. The second was a case of writerâ€™s block caused by meeting and marrying Chatterley, who hails from Pallotâ€™s homeland of Jersey. The problem was one not often found in pop â€“ she was too content to want to write songs.
â€œThe idea of me writing tortured lyrics went out the window,â€ laughs Pallot. â€œAfter years of living out of a suitcase, watching my personal life fall apart and drinking too much, I was suddenly happier than Iâ€™ve ever been. At one stage, I wasnâ€™t sure Iâ€™d ever make another album.
I loved just being normal, having a home to go to and finally being able to attend friendsâ€™ birthday parties. I could have written a song about my fantastic fish terrine, but I doubt anyone would have wanted to hear it.â€
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