October 02, 2015

Album Review: Nadia Kazmi - LAMB

Singer/songwriter Nadia Kazmi incites something fierce on her third release, LAMB, but truth be told she’s been brazen from the beginning.

On her 2010 debut, Arrival, Kazmi showcased a compelling sense of craft, her lyricism in particular bearing out the poetic language and rich cadences of formative influence Leonard Cohen. The very next year she devoted her follow-up, Strange Song, entirely to works by the legendary bard, taking strident liberties with rock-edged arrangements in ways that turned hallowed classics on their heads.

Which brings us back to LAMB, where Kazmi’s creative audacity manifests in striking moments of angst and often fuck-all defiance like “Kill The Monster” and the coiled-riffed “Father Knows Best,” the songs boasting punk’s brevity and swagger if not its most jarring sonic discord. Elsewhere in fact almost unsettling, tribal percussion simmers beneath verses that Kazmi delivers with the authority of a Patti Smith sermon, searing forth with unflinching grace and growl.

Further Reading: An Interview with Nadia Kazmi (2010)