When I went through my Shazam app earlier this month I bought 25 tracks all in one go, each of them by different artists. Some of them I heard on either BBC 6 Music programs (in the addition to Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, I often listen to Amy Lamé, Tom Robinson, frequent Garvey sit-in Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders and, though less often, Dave Monks of BBC Introducing in Merseyside) or KEXP Seattle.
One of the stronger tracks of my recent haul is definitely “Mother Fighter,” by Nadine Shah. I’m sure I’ve heard her songs before; at the same time, my ears are a little confused by the similarity of her voice to Martha Johnson of Martha and the Muffins, later known as M+M, famous for their first big hit, “Echo Beach” followed some years later by “Danseparc.” (Okay, enough digressing.)
“Mother Fighter” comes across like a strong, no… a badass anthem for the historical plight of women, a movement that the old white men’s establishment is intent on pushing back down. Shah’s lyrics and strong, smoky alto vocals are clearing responding, “No” to that, though she acknowledges the struggle:
“I’m a mother and a fighter
I can do both just as well
But the mother who’s the fighter
Knows her place all too well”
(from “Mother Fighter,” by Nadine Shah)
“Mother Fighter” is from Shah’s 2017 album, Holiday Destination, on which the cover photo of a building being demolished reminds me of Winnipeg’s Civic Centre Parkade, closed for the last seven year years or so, and now being slowly torn down as I learned just last night. Its mural honouring Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was, ironically, the first part of the structure to be taken down.
I was immediately taken by the strong beat of the band on the studio recording and, as mentioned earlier, Shah’s strong voice. I prefer the studio track production to the (BBC) 6 Music Live Room session but the former isn’t available on YouTube so the latter appears to be the best option for sharing the song with you. That said, the instrumental introduction to the live performance is, like the song, badass, with some stunning saxophone and guitar effects that, along with the drums and bass set an undertone I hear as anger and rage to set the stage for Shah’s entry, though I wish the producer had mixed Shah’s voice a little higher over the band as it’s drowned out in parts.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the live session video from the 6 Music YouTube channel: