'Ghosteen' marks return of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, culmination of trilogy of records

Category:  Music
Friday, October 11th, 2019 at 11:18 AM
'Ghosteen' marks return of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, culmination of trilogy of records by Rhiannon Pushchak

In keeping with the spooky season, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are back with “Ghosteen,” a double record about a “migrating spirit” that dropped on Oct. 4.

Their second double album and their first release since 2016’s “Skeleton Tree,” the album is said to close a trilogy of records by the Bad Seeds, along with 2013’s “Push the Sky Away.”

As it’s an album in two parts and with interlocking themes, the record is best experienced as an entire entity, rather than on a track-by-track basis. With that being said, “Ghosteen” does have a few standout tracks if you’re looking to sample, such as “Fireflies,” “Leviathan” and “Sun Forest.” These moments are simultaneously devastating and beautiful, and these songs, in particular, deal with love, loss and the idea of grief in such a dreamlike way. It’s hard to listen to (or watch an accompanying lyric video on YouTube) with a dry eye or at least feeling some form of pain or remorse. This is not something out of the ordinary for Nick Cave in any capacity; his work usually delves into deep, dark, disturbing subject matter (take his most recognizable track “Red Right Hand” for example).

The record is chock full of hauntingly surreal synthesizers placed over Cave’s signature dark and brooding voice, the icon singing about heartbreak and pain, but still somehow staying soothing and comforting. As someone who has recently lost someone extremely close to me, the album helped me to look at the death as something beautiful outside of the depression that’s being felt. Nick Cave’s records are perfect for people who are at war with themselves and their feelings, and “Ghosteen” is definitely an essential listen for that purpose.

Cave himself has dealt with some extreme tragedy in his lifetime, and it shows in this record. There are pieces of the album where it sounds like his voice is about to break, but it only adds to the heavy emotional experience. It would not be surprising if this record receives Grammy attention.

As mentioned before, the record is a double album; the first part consists of eight tracks being told from the point of view of “the children,” while the second part features two longer songs and a spoken-word piece told from the perspective of “their parents.”

The album follows this “spirit” and is said to draw comparisons to the works of C.S. Lewis, author of the “Narnia” series. Specifically, the record has been described by Elizabeth Audrey from NME as possibly taking influence from Lewis’ 1960 piece, “A Grief Observed,” due to its lyrical content.

The album will be released in physical formats on Nov. 8.

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