Nick Cave has recorded a new album titled Carnage, the singer revealed in a new post on his Red Right Hand site.
In his previous December dispatch to fans, Cave wrote about his “great disappointment” that his 2020 tour was canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. “In the end, with so many things about 2021 remaining unpredictable, including no certainty on whether we would be able to deliver the large scale arena show that we wanted to — and in the way that we wanted to — we felt we had to make the decision to cancel, at least for now,” Cave wrote, adding as a consolation, “Time to make a record.”
Just a few weeks later, Cave returned to the Red Hand Files to discuss his lockdown and reveal that new album, which he recorded alongside his Bad Seeds collaborator Warren Ellis.
“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. “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.”
Cave continued: “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 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.”
Amid the pandemic, Cave did perform live — albeit in an audience-less Alexandra Place in London — with the resulting concert released as his live album/concert film Idiot Prayer. Carnage marks Cave’s first studio release was he and the Bad Seeds’ Ghosteen in October 2019; the singer did not announce a release date for the forthcoming LP.