Thursday 15th December 2016
See below a short piece I wrote for Gigwise in appraisal of Nick Cave’s sixteenth studio album, released in September this year.
Being a music fan can be a rather melancholy profession. I mean a serious music fan, trawling through the endless stream of albums released each year, superseding perhaps more gregarious activities in favour of these bedroom sit-ins, these amaranthine ransacks for ‘new songs’. Well, I think we go through it all with the belief that we may someday find something as beautifully redeeming as the final, title track on Nick Cave’s “Skeleton Tree”. I say all this because the album itself came much from the artist’s own intense suffering; after two years’ hard labour in the studio, most of the album’s lyrics were rewritten following the death of Cave’s 15-year-old son in July 2015. Extremely abstract words deal throughout with death, loss and grief, but following the bleakness of the album’s opening there is a sense of ablution – of the triumphant and spiritually healing power of music – that leaves its melodies lingering in your head for an age.