Happy Carnage Day
Charlie Brock
17:40 25th February 2021

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Everyone knows and loves Nick Cave. His style and sensibilities are like no other: a true visionary in moody ballads and grandiose, soulful rock. Throughout his career, Cave has enjoyed cult success and his unique brand of emotive, experimental rock has brought a number of highly popular records to the table.

Today we'll be running through some of the most underrated Cave songs, spanning his entire discography. In no particular order: 

'Lovely Creature' 

This track from the late 90s is absolutely prime Cave: the driving rhythm mixes beautifully with the keys and contrasts with the harsh guitar. Cave’s drawling, deep vocal contrasts with the female backing, making a track that juxtaposes itself brilliantly. Noises of wind and thunder give this track a superbly spooky feeling- it doesn't get much more “Nick Cave” than this.



Skeleton Tree is a gut wrenchingly beautiful album, mostly re-recorded following the tragic death of Nick Cave’s son, Arthur. Throughout this album, the instrumentation takes a back seat and Cave’s vocals and lyrics are at the forefront. This cut especially showcases this - Cave’s delivery is exceptional throughout and can make this a difficult album to listen to as the raw emotion is so clearly on show here.


'Water’s Edge'

2013’s Push The Sky Away is a real highlight from the Nick Cave back catalogue. Once again 'Water's Edge' is Cave at his best. The track showcases the variety of Cave’s vocal talent: one moment he is delivering his lyrics almost as spoken word, before the song swells somewhat and he can show off his impressive singing voice.


'O’Malley’s Bar'

Another cut from Muder Ballads, Cave utilises keys that could be straight from an 80s horror movie. The understated drumming and fantastic bassline really shine here - The Bad Seeds are a superbly put together group of musicians and they shine throughout this album. Cave’s lyrics here are inspired, as they detail a murder-spree in an Irish pub; the almost 15-minute track plays out like a short story set to music.


Ghosteen is an outstanding album and its title track is one of the best from the record. This album moves away from the more traditional Bad Seeds sound: instead, strings and keys combine to give the record an ethereal feeling and Cave’s musings on God and religion throughout are nothing short of beautiful. 'Ghosteen' is the prime example of this, it perfectly balancing the best elements of Nick Cave’s writing. 


'The Hammer Song' 

This track is Cave and The Bad Seeds at their imposing, menacing best. Thunderous rhythm and those vocals echoing with choral harmonies make up a beast of a song. 


'Rye Whiskey'

2005’s B sides and Rarities compilation album is really great and it includes a number of excellent Cave tracks. 'Rye Whiskey' sounds like the sort of blues track that you sing in a pub after plenty of...rye whiskey. Bluesy acoustic guitar and harmonica make a great sing-along style number.

'Jesus of The Moon'

'Jesus of The Moon' is a superbly melancholic track: the use of strings that mirror Cave’s vocal give the song a truly introspective feeling. We love the wind instruments on this track and Cave’s delivery is, as ever, steeped in emotion and passion.


'Gates to the Garden' 

Once again, this is a track that is dripping in sorrow and melancholy. The piano in harmony with Cave’s lyrics create a real feeling of loss and sadness. Cave is accompanied by choral backing singers, making you feel that this could be sung in church. 


'Lay Me Low' 

Another cut from Let Love in, this track is a personal favourite. The track builds and builds to a passionate crescendo, Cave shouting rather than singing as he reaches the end of the song. Triumphant drums and backing vocals come together for the penultimate track on one of Cave's most iconic albums.


'Plain Gold Ring'

1993’s live album is such a great sample of The Bad Seeds’ live shows. They are impeccably tight as a group, giving Cave real license to soar with his vocals. Nowhere is that clearer than here, where the band kick in with some brilliantly chaotic sections before calming to give Cave the spotlight once more. 

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