Nick Cave has confirmed he’s started work on a new Bad Seeds album, sharing some early lyric ideas in the process.
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Last year, Cave said he was planning on writing a new album once his touring commitments had wrapped up.
“It’s about a man sitting down in his space and confronting a complete lack of ideas about things,” he said onstage at London’s Southbank Centre. “I don’t collect ideas, I don’t write things down or get a cool title or whatever. I don’t do that stuff. I just make a date and sit down and start to write a record.”
Now Cave has confirmed that the album-writing process is underway. Responding to a question from Fred about his plans for 2023, Cave wrote on his blog, The Red Hand Files: “My plan for this year is to make a new record with the Bad Seeds. This is both good news and bad news. Good news because who doesn’t want a new Bad Seeds record? Bad news because I’ve got to write the bloody thing.”
He went on to reveal the he started the process at 9am on New Year’s Day. “It is now January 6. Nearly a week has passed and I’ve written a few things but they aren’t very good, or maybe they are, it’s difficult to tell,” he said.
“It’s the same with every record, I feel that familiar feeling of lack, like I’m a big, dumb blank thing in a suit. I’m grumpy as fuck and Susie [Bick] has decamped for a week. Anything that resembles a creative impulse is burrowed way down in some mossy, froggy hole, asleep.”
Cave went on to say he has to “provoke [inspiration] from its slumber. It becomes a nasty, punishing, baggy-eyed business.”
“I’m starting to get an infuriating sing-song voice in my head that actually rhymes, like a madness. Like sadness,” he added, before sharing the first lyrics he wrote for the upcoming Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds record.
“Ushering in the year he knelt down/And crushed his brother’s head with a bone,” wrote Cave. “That felt like an okay way to start a record but it also felt kind of terminal and didn’t really go anywhere.”
He then shared the updated lyrics: “Ushering in the new year he knelt down / And crushed his brother’s head with a bone / It’s my great privilege to walk you home / In the rain / Hop inside my coat.”
“The frogs in the gutter are jumping for God / Amazed of love, amazed of pain / Amazed to land back in the gutter again.”
“And that felt like it summed things up,” continued Cave. “Writing lyrics is the pits. It’s like jumping for frogs, Fred. It’s the shits. It’s the bogs. It actually hurts. It comes in spurts, but few and far between. There is something obscene about the whole affair. Like crimes that rhyme. I hope this doesn’t last long. I’m actually scared.”
Cave had previously said that inspiration is “not something that finds you, or offers itself to you”.
Nick Cave’s last album with The Bad Seeds, Ghosteen, came out in 2019. “Many people have remarked that Ghosteen is a sad album, but I don’t think it is at all,” Cave said at the time. “In fact I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more uplifting, jubilant record before. Why do you think people are reacting so differently to it? I almost feel like I’ve misinterpreted it.”