Bad Seeds rejoice - Nick Cave announces ‘deeply and joyously infectious’ new album ‘Wild God’

 Nick Cave announces ‘deeply and joyously infectious’ new album ‘Wild God’
Nick Cave announces ‘deeply and joyously infectious’ new album ‘Wild God’ Copyright PIAS
By David Mouriquand
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A new album. A series adaptation of Nick Cave's second novel. And three major album anniversaries for the Bad Seeds. Here's why 2024 is a big year for fans of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

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After Nick Cave launched a mysterious countdown clock on 5 March – without revealing what would happen when it struck zero – fans were treated to the news that Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have a new album coming out this summer.

Cave has shared details of the new album, ‘Wild God’, the band’s 18th studio effort.

“I hope the album has the effect on listeners that it’s had on me. It bursts out of the speaker, and I get swept up with it. It’s a complicated record, but it’s also deeply and joyously infectious,” Cave said of the upcoming release.

“There is never a masterplan when we make a record. The records rather reflect back the emotional state of the writers and musicians who played them. Listening to this, I don’t know, it seems we’re happy,” he added. “There’s no fucking around with this record. When it hits, it hits. It lifts you. It moves you. I love that about it.”

Sign us up.

Set for release on 30 August, the album follows 2019’s ‘Ghosteen’, a further sonic departure from some of the band’s signature sounds and a deeply moving exploration of grief. ‘Wild God' will feature 10 songs and, to mark the announcement, they have shared the title track as the lead single.

The group blends gospel and some harpsichord in this five-minute ride, that recalls the Cave’s recent collaborative album with Warren Ellis, ‘Carnage’, as well as echoes of their 13th album ‘Abattoir Blues’ - more on that later.

“It is the sound of a group emboldened by reconnection and taking flight,” reads a description of the LP. “There are moments that touch fondly upon the Bad Seeds’ past but they are fleeting, and serve only to imbue the relentless and restless forward motion of the band.”

On top of ‘Wild God’ being on the way, 2024 is a big year for Nick Cave and his naughty pips.

It was recently announced that a television adaptation of Cave’s 2009 novel "The Death Of Bunny Monro" is in the works, with former Doctor Who star Matt Smith recently having been confirmed to take the title role.

The Death of Bunny Munro
The Death of Bunny MunroCanongate

Per a press release, a synopsis for the show reads: “Following his wife Libby’s suicide, sex addict, door-to-door beauty product salesman and self-professed lothario Bunny Munro finds himself saddled with a young son and only a loose concept of parenting. Together with nine-year-old Bunny Junior he embarks on an epic and increasingly out-of-control road trip across Southern England as the two struggle to contain their grief in very different ways. As Bunny bounces from one sales pitch to the next, trying to seduce any woman he meets, Bunny Junior kills time talking to the ghost of his mother and distracting himself from the dawning realisation that his dad isn’t just fallible, he’s a fucking mess. As he starts to unravel, Bunny realises he must do something to rescue his son from his own outdated notions of what it is to be a man. The Death of Bunny Munro is a darkly comic and unflinching modern-day parable as well as a tender portrait of the relationship between father and son.”

If you haven’t read the book, it’s well worth it. Released in 2009, “The Death Of Bunny Munro” is Cave’s second novel, following 1989’s “And The Ass Saw The Angel”.

Plus, you’ve got time, as filming on the series is scheduled to begin in Spring 2024 across the south of England. A release date has yet to be announced – but we’re hoping that we may yet get it towards the end of the year.

Beyond this, 2024 is also momentous for fans, as it marks several landmark anniversaries in the band’s discography. 

Here’s the lowdown for those who get a joyous jolt from their favourite albums celebrating a milestone...

From Her To Eternity – Turning 40 in 2024

From Her To Eternity (1984)
From Her To Eternity (1984)Mute

The band’s debut record, titled as a pun on the James Jones novel "From Here To Eternity", is an odd but fascinatingly spooky listen. 

Having formed after the 1983 demise of Cave’s first band The Birthday Party, the album retains some of that visceral punk menace while moving towards newer sonic territories. It’s evocative in its imagery, with Cave showing his lyrical prowess from the get-go. It’s an imperfect album, but a poetic sign of better things to come. 

The title track remains glorious, the doomy cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Avalanche’ is menacing in its absence of noise, and the brutal ‘Saint Huck’ is uneasy listening at its greatest. Well worth revisiting on its 40th anniversary.

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Let Love In – Turning 30 in 2024

Let Love In (1994)
Let Love In (1994)Mute

The eighth Bad Seeds studio album is one of the band’s greatest efforts. 

Reflective, funeral and powerful, it sounds like the streamlining of the band’s greatest strengths. There’s some southern blues, some punk rawness, and a dark romance to the tracklist, which boasts enough fire-and-brimstone storytelling to keep OG fans happy while leaning more into musings on the human condition that showed forward progression. 

At the time, it was their most ambitious project, a sort of soundtrack to Milton’s “Paradise Lost”. The most widely recognised song on the album is the peerless ‘Red Right Hand’, but there’s also the meditative ‘Ain’t Gonna Rain Anymore’, the noisy ‘Jangling Jack’, and the sweet desperation of ‘Nobody’s Baby Now’. 

When it comes to the band’s classic albums, ‘Let Love In’ is a highlight, and one worth celebrating this year as it turns 30.

Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus – Turning 20 in 2024

Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus (2004)
Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus (2004)Mute

This double album is arguably one of the band’s greatest, an endlessly mesmerising collection of songs that show the Bad Seeds at their most theatrical. It came after one of their most beloved LPs, 1997’s ‘The Boatman’s Call’, and the balladeering double-tap of ‘No More Shall We Part’ and the poorly received ‘Nocturama’. Those last two seemed to see Cave and his lot on a mournful plateau; ‘Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus’ was the destruction of that seemingly quiescent period. 

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These two contrasting sides to the album - ‘Abattoir Blues’ being the more raucous and rockier one, while ‘Lyre’ is an elegant retelling of the Orphic myth – work in unison to create a grandiose statement. The instrumentation and gospel choirs lend it much theatrical oomph; the lyrics on these two halves are riotous and emotionally satisfying; and despite the departure of long-term Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld, the band felt like it had been energized like never before. 

Tracks like the stomping opener ‘Get Ready For Love’, the epic ‘Hiding All Away’ (which recalled some of the storytelling prowess of ‘Murder Ballads’) and the gorgeous ‘Abattoir Blues’ all stand out on the first half. The tender ‘Breathless’ is a highlight on the second, as well as the breathtaking closer ‘O Children’, which is sheer perfection. 

All to say that the band’s thirteenth record was far from unlucky. It managed to marry the early, full-blooded intensity of the Bad Seeds with the gentle poetry they had perfected in the second half of their career. It’s nothing short of a perfect record, and one well worth listening to on repeat this year, as it celebrates its second decade. 

'Wild God' comes out on 30 August.

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