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Nick's Cave of Treasures

Door Marc Zisman |

Nick and his Bad Seeds release a new volume of truly essential rarities captured between 2005 and 2020...

Sixteen years after the first volume, Nick Cave again opens his treasure chest to publish more B-Sides & Rarities of his Bad Seeds. Here we are treated to 27 tracks recorded between 2005 and 2020. As a bonus, we also receive the unreleased Vortex released in 2006 by Cave with Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos... These kind of compilations have never been casual fling for the Australian. "I've always liked the B-Sides & Rarities more than any of our other albums. It's the only one I like to listen to. It sounds more relaxed, even a little absurd at times, but with great songs throughout. There's also something about the modesty of some of the songs that is closer to their original spirit"

Arriving with the Bad Seeds in 1997 from the album The Boatman's Call, Warren Ellis is the great sound director on most of the tracks on these B-Sides & Rarities - Part II, Mick Harvey his predecessor being present here only on the first three tracks. Over the fifteen years that this compilation covers, it is fascinating to see the evolution of Nick Cave who progressively moves away from the canons of indie rock, from his gothic crooner sequences, to plunge body and soul into compositions that are more and more dreamlike, elegiac, spiritual and above all dark, especially from 2015 onwards, the year in which he lost his 15 year old son. Singing less and less, speaking more and more (Steve McQueen), his journey then has the appearance of a descent into hell...

Religion, death, love and violence feed this chest of gems in which we find notably a beautiful cover of Free To Walk by the ex-Gun Club Jeffrey Lee Pierce (in duet with Blondie's Debbie Harry), a poignant live version of Push the Sky Away with the strings of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, a mystical rereading of Avalanche by Leonard Cohen or the oppressive Needle Boy. The electronics (driven by Ellis) are also becoming more and more important and intrude into Cave's gospel and blues DNA as on Lightning Bolts. But if the art of the Bad Seeds is not really a welcoming land for all ears, it can be a holy land when the voice of the master of ceremonies merges with the strange symphony of his musicians (Give Us a Kiss). We close this B-Sides & Rarities - Part II once again convinced of the total singularity of Nick Cave, one of the rare artists of his generation to have been able to make his own aesthetic revolution.