Considered by Cave to be the “finest track of the Ghosteen sessions,” the unheard “Earthlings” was recorded during the same studio sessions that resulted in the band’s acclaimed double LP.
“‘Earthlings’ is the missing link that binds Ghosteen together. A lovely song that just got away…” Cave said of “Earthlings” in a statement.
“Children Halloweened in sheets/Go running up and down the streets/I thought these ghosts had gathered here for me/I thought these songs would one day set me free,” Cave sings over a funereal synth melody; much of Ghosteen was written in the aftermath of the death of his teenage son Arthur in 2015.
As Cave previously announced, B-Sides & Rarities Part II will arrive on October 22nd in a variety of formats. Additionally, the band is packaging the compilation with its beloved 2005 predecessor to form the limited-edition vinyl box set B-Sides & Rarities Part I and Part II, also out that day.
“I always liked the original B-Sides & Rarities more than any of our other albums. It’s the only one I’d listen to willingly. It seems more relaxed, even a bit nonsensical in places, but with some beautiful songs throughout. There is something, too, about the smallness of certain songs that is closer to their original spirit,” Cave said in a statement. “B-Sides & Rarities Part II continues this strange and beautiful collection of lost songs from the Bad Seeds. I love the final side of the last disc because it reveals the small and fragile beginnings of some of my favorite Bad Seeds songs. ‘Waiting For You’ complete with bizarre ‘canning factory’ rhythm track, a gorgeous ‘Life Per Se’ deemed too sad for Skeleton Tree, and ‘Earthlings’ that some consider the finest track of the Ghosteen sessions.”
The band previously shared the unreleased “Vortex” from the collection.