Nina Nastasia - Dogs


There was a time where Steve Albini was roughly the equivalent of boiling six Smurfs. Everything he touched turned to gold. He worked with some of the biggest bands in rock, including the Pixies, The Breeders, Jesus Lizard, Mogwai, Helmet, (personal fav) Jawbreaker, Nirvana, Screeching Weasel, Will Oldham, Low, GBV, Songs: Ohia and many, many more.

One act Mr. Albini worked with, and one that I have recently revisited, is Nina Nastasia. Nina is an amazing singer/songwriter who has some big supporters, including the late and great John Peel. Her solo debut – Dogs – became a staple on his radio show and in my collection. The original release helped Nina become a relatively unknown singer with a fanatical following – much like Jeff Buckley. People who knew about Nina obsessed about her.

Unlike many singers, she doesn’t try to overcomplicate things (with help from the minimalist style Albini used) and that makes her work so sincere. You feel her emotion on every song and unlike her subsequent two releases, the lyrical content is much and full of childish ideals (for example, the antiquated idea of a perfect, all-consuming love in Love Song).

Her voice is subtle, maybe even unsure and unconfident, but this fragility makes it powerful. The instrumentation compliments her voice in a supporting role with strings and percussion and Shane’s favorite instrument – the saw. Even when the songs feature an electric guitar (like Nobody Knew Her), Nina’s voice still is all you can really focus on, even when she sings in hushed tones.

Here are some great songs:
MP3:: Roadkill
MP3:: Stormy Weather


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