Loader

Coffee BreakNick Cave Just Announced A World Tour! This Is The Story Of The Australian Legend

Overlay

Nicolas Edward Cave is easily one of the all-time best songwriters to come out of Australia. He is known for mixing many genres into a dark, moody and dramatic musical cocktail that would go well with a heartbroken night in the club or mourning a death in the family, the latter of which he sadly has recent experience with. With 'The Bad Seeds', the band that has been supporting him throughout his career, he will be touring the world in 2017. In this article we're running down Nick's story in 5 short paragraphs, so you can join in on every conversation about this legend from down under.

I: Formation From Birthday Party

Nick Cave and many bandmembers that would form The Bad Seeds had already been playing together for about 10 years under the name Birthday Party. While they were critically acclaimed during their last few years, the commercial succes never came and the band fell apart. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds was soon formed and they released an album called From Her To Eternity. This was the start of an enormous discography that spans 4 decades and still grows to this day. The above song was the title track of their debut album and shows how the band first rose from the ashes of BIrthday Party.

II: Refining Their Sound

'The Mercy Seat' is a classic Nick Cave song about a prisoner on death row that doesn't seem afraid to die. The song became more well-known when it was covered by Johnny Cash, but we prefer the ominous nature of the original. From the start of the first verse we can see the signs of this prisoner going slightly mad as he sees Jesus in his soup and thinks the trolley bringing his food is trying to strike him a deal. He does not want to break free but just wants to be done with all this "measuring of truth" and yearns for 'The Mercy Seat'. Much of the sounds here are a lot more refined and thought out than on the first few albums the band put out. The claustrophobic, crazy nature of this prisoner's situation is captured very well in The Bad Seeds' music, which is ultimately what makes this song so great.

III: The Productive Peak

While their output in the 80's was considered good and From Her To Eternity and Tender Prey are often considered classic albums, the 90's is when Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds really made one good album after another. 1993's Let Love In is a sad and dark album that draws the listener in with Nick's deep voice and dramatic themes of death and love. The albums opener 'Do You Love Me' is still considered one of the band's best tracks and it isn't hard to see why. Nick sings about a "woman of various sorrows" and how he loves her, but that she might not be what she seems. In the final lines he admits that he tried his hardest not to abuse her, but whether or not he succeeded is left up to the listener.

IV: A New Sound

On 2004's 'There She Goes My Beautiful World' the sound of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds is very different from what it once was. The band was already 21 years old at this point and this song came from their 13th(!) studio album, so a change in style was almost to be expected. The choir provides much more of a gospel feel, and the rest of the instrumentation sounds more like a straight up rock song than any of Nick's previous songs ever did. The lyrics focus on Nick's writer's block and how all his inspirations still wrote great things in the worst of situations. He even wants god to "send that stuff down on him". For a guy with writers block, Nick Cave sure does write some good tunes!

V: Tragedy Strikes

Tragedy befell Nick Cave in 2015 with the loss of his 15 year old son, who accidentally fell off a cliff. This combined with the more ambient approach he and The Bad Seeds took on their last album Push The Sky Away made 2016's Skeleton Tree a sombre and harrowing affair. Many times throughout his career Nick has written songs about the deaths of people, but they were always more like the most morbid fairy tales than real stories. Now that the reality of death casts it shadow all over this album the songs feel very different than other Nick Cave tracks. On the last track of the album, the title-track, Nick painfully talks about how nothing is for free, to which one can assign any number of interpretations. While the song seems to carry a glimmer of hope. do not expect to be very uplifted by Nick's new tour, as the grim reaper's presence is more prominent than ever before in the music of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

Coffeebreak

There's an incredible amount of artists and bands on this planet. Sometimes they make it to the news, yet you don't really know who they really are. 'Coffeebreak' to the rescue. In one cup of coffee, we give you a crash course: five keytracks with five paragraphs of explanation. After that you can safely join all coffee machine conversations.
More Coffeebreak >