Nick Cave Announces New Album Carnage

Recorded with Warren Ellis while in lockdown

Nick Cave, photo by Ellie Pritts

With the pandemic derailing his touring plans, Nick Cave instead made his way into the studio and recorded a new album. It’s called Carnage and was recorded in collaboration with his long time Bad Seeds associate Warren Ellis. A release date is still forthcoming.

Cave announced the album at the end of a long blog post in which he reflected on his time in lockdown. “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,” Cave wrote in a blog post published to his Red Hand Files website. “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 formalization of the kind of hermit-like behavior 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.”

“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,” he continued. “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 splendor, 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.”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ last proper album, Ghosteen, was released in 2019 to rave reviews. Recenly, Cave shared a live album version of his Idiot Prayer quarantine livestream, which included the debut of a new song called “Euthanasia”.

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