Tag Archives: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

The Down And Out Gospel According To Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Push The Sky Away

23 Feb

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“Well, if I were to use that threadbare metaphor of albums being like children, then Push The Sky Away is the ghost-baby in the incubator and Warren’s loops are its tiny, trembling heart-beat.”

– Nick Cave on his latest record with the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away.

Like a stalker seeking new blood on the boulevard, I am completely obsessed with the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s record, Push the Sky Away. It’s also possible that at the age of 55, Nick Cave’s 15th record (over the course of almost 30 years with the Bad Seeds), is perhaps his best work – a statement that could be considered blasphemous when considering Cave’s massive body of work. But it’s also a word Cave himself might use if you were to ask him if he ever made a bad record. Cave’s combined discography with the Bad Seeds, and the stellar project, Grinderman, have produced some of my favorite albums over the last five+ years.

As always, Cave brings his best love-sick-psychopathic-preacher-storytelling to Away, accompanied by the aforementioned, ever-present heart beat of the record, long-time Cave collaborator, guitarist Warren Ellis. Ellis helps keeps Cave’s derelict musings about hookers with hearts of gold, mermaid snatches, and rebirth, direct and hauntingly intertwined throughout the record. According to Cave, Away was inspired by his recent exploration of, all things, the Internet. In that recent interview with The Sun, Cave said that the only things he ever learned were while he was in school, while his twin boys  (now 12), “have much more interesting minds [than he did at the same age] because of the Internet.”

Away was conceived in a remarkably short period of time, only three weeks. From beginning to end, the record seems like a soundtrack to an out-of-body experience. A dream about people and places you’ve never met or been to, but can see clearly through Cave’s lyrical tapestry, whether you want to or not. Perhaps the best example of this musical imagery is the soaring track “Jubilee Street”. The song weaves a story about a man who falls in love with a prostitute. The song builds and rises with slow, sexually-charged intention. A musical style that, over the years, Cave has developed to unnerving perfection. Push the Sky Away is an indulgent treat, expertly crafted with love and malice. A “must listen” from start to finish in order to truly appreciate it’s darkly beautiful message.