With the pandemic derailing his touring plans, Nick Cave instead made his way into the studio and recorded a new album. It’s called Carnage and was recorded in collaboration with his long time Bad Seeds associate Warren Ellis. A release date is still forthcoming.
Cave announced the album at the end of a long blog post in which he reflected on his time in lockdown. “In many ways, lockdown has felt weirdly familiar, like I’ve experienced it before. I guess this should come as no surprise as I was a heroin addict for many years and self-isolating and social distancing were the name of the game,” Cave wrote in a blog post published to his Red Hand Files website. “I am also well acquainted with the mechanics of grief — collective grief works in an eerily similar way to personal grief, with its dark confusion, deep uncertainty, and loss of control. For me, lockdown feels like a state-mandated version of more of the same — a formalization of the kind of hermit-like behavior to which I’ve always been predisposed, and so, as difficult as it has been to see the devastation and anguish caused by the pandemic — including to the lives of those close to me, and many who have written into the Red Hand Files — I have been doing okay.”
“I am surprised, though, at just how hard not being able to play live has felt. I have come to the conclusion that I am essentially a thing that tours,” he continued. “There is a terrible yearning and a feeling of a life being half-lived. I miss the thrill of stepping onto the stage, the rush of the performance, where all other concerns dissolve into a pure animal interrelation with my audience. I miss the complete surrender to the moment, the loss of self, the physicalness of it all, the feeding frenzy of communal love, the religion, the glorious exchange of bodily fluids — and the Bad Seeds themselves, of course, in all their reckless splendor, how I miss them. As much as sitting behind my desk can bring me a lot of joy, and the imagination can be a stimulating, even dangerous place, I long for the wanton abandon of the live performance.”
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ last proper album, Ghosteen, was released in 2019 to rave reviews. Recenly, Cave shared a live album version of his Idiot Prayer quarantine livestream, which included the debut of a new song called “Euthanasia”.
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