i don’t feel especially qualified to analyze nick cave’s music, mostly because i haven’t even been alive for a solid third of his recording career. one of my close friends was all about dig, lazarus, dig!!! when it came out way back in 2008, but otherwise, cave and his bad seeds flew somewhat under my radar. i can’t really make excuses for my behavior though, and on his fifteenth studio album, cave makes me feel ashamed that i’ve ignored him for so long.
push the sky away takes a decidedly different turn away from its predecessor, an album which was heavily inspired by the bad seeds’ offshoot project grinderman. eschewing the garage-rock raucous, push the sky away is delicate yet overwhelmingly haunting, leaning on cave’s strong lyricism and vocal delivery. almost all of the songs blend seamlessly into each other, subscribing to the aesthetic that cave and his bandmates ultimately are able to achieve. it’s notable that this is the first bad seeds album without founding member mick harvey; while many point to a sense of emptiness throughout the album as a result of his departure, the material presented seems to be more of a reaction to the departure than a concession.
an acceptance of twenty-first century nomenclature into the context of an esteemed musician’s lyrics may be butchered by some, but nick cave handles topics like hannah montana and wikipedia eloquently while mentioning them in passing. and then there’s the whole business of “we no who u r,” a title that makes me laugh more and more each time i hear the song. if there’s anyone to passive-aggressively tell kesha that she’s worthless, it’s nick cave.