Nick Cave has revealed details of his upcoming 18th studio album, which he has christened Carnage.
Cave’s last effort with the Bad Seeds came in 2019, on the triumphant Ghosteen and since then fans have been eagerly anticipating his next effort. In November, Cave shared the unique live album, Idiot Prayer, recorded at an empty Alexandra Palace at the height of the first lockdown in 2020. Now, the Australian legend has confirmed the details of his next project, although he has been coy about when fans should expect the record to arrive.
In his monthly Red Hand Files, he replied to a fan and confirmed that he had written a brand new album called Carnage with fellow Bad Seed Warren Ellis.
Speaking about the lockdown, Cave initially noted: “In many ways lockdown has felt weirdly familiar, like I’ve experienced it before. I guess this should come as no surprise as I was a heroin addict for many years and self-isolating and social distancing were the name of the game. I am also well acquainted with the mechanics of grief — collective grief works in an eerily similar way to personal grief, with its dark confusion, deep uncertainty and loss of control.
“For me, lockdown feels like a state mandated version of more of the same — a formalisation of the kind of hermit-like behaviour to which I’ve always been predisposed, and so, as difficult as it has been to see the devastation and anguish caused by the pandemic — including to the lives of those close to me, and many who have written into The Red Hand Files — I have been doing okay.
He then spoke about the difficulties that the pandemic has thrown his way, adding: “I am surprised, though, at just how hard not being able to play live has felt. I have come to the conclusion that I am essentially a thing that tours. There is a terrible yearning and a feeling of a life being half-lived. I miss the thrill of stepping onto the stage, the rush of the performance, where all other concerns dissolve into a pure animal interrelation with my audience.
“I miss the complete surrender to the moment, the loss of self, the physicalness of it all, the feeding frenzy of communal love, the religion, the glorious exchange of bodily fluids — and The Bad Seeds themselves, of course, in all their reckless splendour, how I miss them. As much as sitting behind my desk can bring me a lot of joy, and the imagination can be a stimulating, even dangerous place, I long for the wanton abandon of the live performance.”
Then at the end of the letter, Cave told every reader exactly what they wanted to hear: “Anyway, as promised in my last issue, I did go into the studio — with Warren — to make a record. It’s called CARNAGE.”
Whilst 2021 still looks extremely uncertain, a new record from Nick Cave would act as an offering of hope and a beacon of light for these strange times we find ourselves bathing in. Take a few minutes out and marvel at his stunning performance of ‘Galleon Ship’ from London’s Alexandra Palace, below.