Tag Archives: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis – Carnage: One Year On Retrospective Review

For my original thoughts on Carnage, you can read my initial review here.

Longstanding collaborators Nick Cave and Warren Ellis fire on all cylinders with their offshoot of The Bad Seeds. Ellis and Cave may have worked together for decades, but Carnage marks their first album release as a duo, rather than as a group or as listed participants in a film score. Spurred on by the isolation of the coronavirus pandemic, where working in smaller groups was more suitable, the duo took to the studio and produced some of their finest work. A flagship for the year of music that was 2021, Carnage takes the brooding tones of Cave’s lyricisms, long-established in decades of work with The Bad Seeds or The Birthday Party, and connects them with a focus on the strings Ellis underscores these movements with.

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Grief, Guilt, and Goodbyes – Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree

Grief is a prominent theme found in the work of many Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ records, but nowhere is it clearer, more brutal, or truthful, than on their 2016 album, Skeleton Tree. The grief, guilt, and goodbyes found within mark a pivotal moment not just for the career of the band, but for the sanity of their songwriter.

With Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ prolific discography, their motifs are clear. They swoon in the face of death, cradle their way through the undignified ends at the heart of their music, and persuade themselves of Godlike figures, thwarting or thriving inside of their tightly written tracks. Here, on their 2016 release, they deal with suffering first-hand. Cave’s fifteen-year-old son, Arthur, passed away after falling from a cliff in Brighton under the effects of LSD. It marked what feels like a permanent shift in tone for the singer.

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