It’s been nearly three years since Nick Cave, and the Bad Seeds released their last album, Ghosteen. The album is a dark, soul-searching record that tackles complex subjects such as loss and grief head-on. While the band was supposed to tour Ghosteen, COVID-19 made its sudden appearance and threw a wrench in their plans.
The election of Donald Trump, the rise of right-wing populism, and the continued threat of climate change has made the world a much darker place. Against this backdrop, Cave has released Ghosteen, an album that is both a return to form and a departure from everything the band has done before.
Ghosteen is a metaphorical, metamorphosis of sorrow, but one that aims to uplift despite dealing with the tragedy of loss, as the memories of your loved ones persist.
Then and Now: What Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is Up to in 2021 and Beyond
In the intervening years, Cave has continued to unpack and deconstruct his sound, moving away from the more traditional rock of his earlier work and into more experimental territory with his 2021 compilation, B-Sides & Rarities Part II.
Revisiting a collection of old and new from albums like Skeleton Tree and Ghosteen, this process of salvaging singles and live recordings reach its culmination, with Cave and the Bad Seeds crafting a record with tracks like “Free to Walk” and “Avalanche” that is by turns a poetic mess and downright strange.
There are moments on B-Sides & Rarities Part II that feel like a direct continuation of Skeleton Tree and Ghostreen, a much-needed musical escape created amidst the lockdown, and the COVID-19 frenzy back in 2021. The opening track, “Hey Little Firing Squad,” is a perfect example of this, with its slow, simmering build and feel-good atmosphere, but the lyrics underlie a disturbing message.
But elsewhere on the album, Cave and the Bad Seeds push their sound in new and unexpected directions. B-Sides & Rarities Part II is a fitting end to Nick Cave’s recent trilogy of albums, and a reminder of the power of his music to both comforts and challenges us.
Push the Sky Away, Skeleton Tree, Ghosteen, and Everything in Between: A Look Back on Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Growth
Formed in 1984, the band has released 17 studio albums, four live albums, and numerous singles and B-sides. Their music is a mix of gothic rock, post-punk, and experimental rock that has influenced a wide range of artists.
The band’s lineup has changed over the years, but they have always included Nick Cave on lead vocals and guitar. Cave’s distinctive voice and dark lyrics have helped make the band’s music some of the most memorable and iconic of our generation.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ Australian ‘Carnage’ Concerts Transcends the Tough Times with its Musical, Healing Prowess
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis are two of the most prolific and acclaimed musicians of our generation. Their work together in the band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds has produced some of the most iconic and memorable music of our time.
Now, the duo is teaming up once again for a series of concerts that are sure to be just as impactful as their previous work with their latest 2021 studio album tour, “Carnage.”
As we all know, the past year has been challenging for everyone. We’ve faced a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a whole host of other challenges. But through it all, music has been a constant source of comfort and inspiration.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s concert Carnage tour is an excision of grief that never reaches for reverence. Instead, Cave and Ellis aim to bring simple exultation, and the result is better than what you would hear in the church.
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Jay B McCauley is a renowned award-winning music journalist, broadcaster and record producer. He has written for some of the biggest platforms in the game and runs his own label Vagrant Soundz.