Readers, I’m not going to lie to you. I put my hands up and I freely admit; I have committed the English literature student’s cardinal sin. It wasn’t that I just forgot that last apostrophe. It wasn’t that I have deleted this paragraph four times. It isn’t that I haven’t been to Taste yet. No. I haven’t just pushed the boat out – I’ve dragged it onto the beach, set fire to it, and danced on it naked. Are you ready? I have just Googled a definition of the word ‘peroxide’.
The truth is, we all know what peroxide is, and what it does. It’s a chemical that burns and bleaches until whichever thing it’s latched onto has turned white, colourless, and ultimately dead (I should know, I’ve been there, many a time). My question today is whether Nina Nesbitt knows this.
Peroxide looks good at a distance. It looks and feels great when you’re just leaving the trusty hands of the hairdressers. It’s your best friend, for a while, like those shoes that promise never to hurt that much, or the friend that is always up for a night out. It’s catchy, and fun, and looks fabulous in summer. But then winter comes along. Soon, it’s brittle, thin, lacking substance. Snapping left, right and centre. Roots wherever you look, trying to push through, relentlessly, unremittingly. It’s a nightmare.
So did Nesbitt chose to call her first full length album Peroxide because she knows its ability to make or break a person, in much the same way as a first album can do for a rising star? I wonder if she chose it because she knows it’s the best word to describe her album; its sunny side reflected in songs like Selfies, He’s The One I’m Bringing Back, Mr. C and Brit Summer, and wintry counterpart that is present in Hold You, Tough Luck and 18 Candles.
At the end of the day, peroxide is something that you can only stay with for a short amount of time. At some point, you will always have to go back to your natural colour and chastise yourself for not listening to your mother the first time. Nina, take heed, because when Radio 1 looks back on your early career, the Peroxide look – no matter how sweet it was in those halcyon days – will never show up as good as it first looked.