Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Wild God

15th March 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Music

I’ve always loved those Nick Cave songs where he takes the listener on a journey; those long narrative songs like The Mercy Seat and Higgs Bosun Blues. I was sad when he said he’d given up on that kind of songwriting. So I’m overjoyed that he has returned to it for his new song with the Bad Seeds.

Wild God finds Cave and the Bad Seeds in gloriously euphoric mood: it’s transcendental in its soaring, hymnlike beauty, reaching a celestial crescendo when the choir comes in.

Cave, who so famously sang that he did not believe in an interventionist God, returns to his favourite subject to confront the notion of faith: all the more poignant in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that befell him with his son’s death.

I don’t want to jump the gun but he has said in his Red Hand Files that the central song on the new album – not due til August – is called Conversion.

It’s not only happier, but less earnest, less serious, than recent albums written under the shadow of tragedy; Cave appears to have emerged from that cloud with humour intact.

He’s even got a couple of those characteristic comedic couplets like “Hannah Montana does the African savannah” – in this case a reference to “rape and pillage in the retirement village.”

And he’s still got those equally characteristic poetic allusions – the flames of anarchy, the winds of tyranny, the tears of liberty – to assure us that Cave is a master still very much at the top of his game.