Photo: Ian Allen

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds rediscover joyousness on “Wild God”, the title track of their new album

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds will release a new album called Wild God on 30 August through Bad Seed/Play It Again Sam. While Cave has released Carnage with Warren Ellis in recent years, this is the first Bad Seeds album since 2019’s Ghosteen; a dark, harrowing and unsettling listen. It appears that Wild God is an inversion of this depression, with Cave saying:

“I hope the album has the effect on listeners that it’s had on me. It bursts out of the speaker, and I get swept up with it. It’s a complicated record, but it’s also deeply and joyously infectious. There is never a masterplan when we make a record. The records rather reflect back the emotional state of the writers and musicians who played them. Listening to this, I don’t know, it seems we’re happy.”

Lead single “Wild God” makes good on this proposition: it’s a grandiose anthem with orchestras and choirs rising in tandem with Cave’s bombastic storytelling. He regales us with the memories of the titular “Wild God” who has lived through centuries, witnessed rape and pillage but still sees himself as a “man of great virtue and courage”. But even amidst his omniscient powers he can’t help but be stuck on a long-lost “faraway girl /
Who was basically a mirage but nevertheless loomed large”. Cave’s vocal performance is full of the bravado of a seasoned storyteller, dramatically enacting the god’s loneliness and blues with a pomp that is uplifted by the emphatic arrangements that overtake the song. As the god spins around the world in search of this long lost lover, Cave moans and cavorts, the choir backing him up as he pronounces that he’s “moving round the world / moving like a great big beautiful bird”, forever in search of satisfaction.

Listen to “Wild God” below or find it on your preferred streamer.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ new album Wild God arrives on August 30 via Bad Seed/Play It Again Sam (pre-order/save). You can find Nick Cave on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.