- Gatefold sleeve
- Download code
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Nick Cave returns, Bad Seeds in tow, with his new LP Ghosteen. Coming three years after Skeleton Tree, this record also completes a loose album trilogy that began with 2013’s Push The Sky Away.
As you may well have heard, Skeleton Tree was released during the fallout from the death of Cave’s son Arthur. Already a fractured and incredibly moody record prior to the death, Cave’s subsequent lyrical changes pulled Skeleton Tree into a space of numb shock. While the incident is still a core concern on Ghosteen, this album processes the experience to a point where Cave’s grief informs rather than overwhelms his music. Cave sings with a combination of clarity and sorrow, occasionally taking his voice to places it has never been before - extended periods of falsetto, for instance.
The sonic temperament of Ghosteen is a continuation of the abstracted songwriting found on the preceding two LPs. Many of the songs here recall the most ephemeral entries on those records - ‘Push The Sky Away’, ‘Anthrocene’ - in their ambient textures, sweeping strings and processed drones. Choirs are also frequently deployed, though their contributions are far more ethereal than the raucous gospel blasts heard on Cave’s only other double-album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus. All in all Ghosteen’s sound is cerebral, one that owes as much to the contemporary classical innovations of Jóhann Jóhannsson as it does to Cave’s regular musical touchstones.
It appears to swell the bony scarcity of 2016’s Skeleton Tree across two vast discs — from single to double album — but its thick, synth-orchestra grandiosity, its Biblical invocations of spectres, flaming horses, woods and miracles, conceals a soul alone. Ghost. Teen. Cave’s son tragically died in 2016, but to view him as the titular character would miss some finer point. Cave is an artist in constant transition, and Ghosteen is his most atomic; a vast, unending construction over 70 minutes. “Ghosteen is a migrating spirit”, as is obliquely written.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ seventeenth studio album Ghosteen is bold and beautiful processing of loss.
Digital Track List
- 1 Spinning Song Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 14:12 Buy
- 2 Bright Horses Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 3:23 Buy
- 3 Waiting for You Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 12:10 Buy
- 4 Night Raid Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 4:02 Buy
- 5 Sun Forest Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 4:47 Buy
- 6 Galleon Ship Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 3:54 Buy
- 7 Ghosteen Speaks Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 4:52 Buy
- 8 Leviathan Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 4:43 Buy
- 9 Ghosteen Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 5:07
- 10 Fireflies Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 6:46 Buy
- 11 Hollywood Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 4:14
- The Spinning Song
- Bright Horses
- Waiting For You
- Night Raid
- Sun Forest
- Galleon Ship
- Ghosteen Speaks