In tragedy, some of us turn to God, some of us spurn God, and a few of us find solace in nothingness. But it's possible to take all three paths simultaneously when caught in a maelstrom of desperation. Nick Cave has always existed in this realm, it's what makes his work so powerful, that in-between existence that seeps into our own.
On July 15, 2015, Nick Cave's 15-year-old son, Arthur, fell from a cliff and died. In this unimaginable situation, Cave wrote, "Our son Arthur died on Tuesday evening. He was our beautiful, happy loving boy. We ask that we be given the privacy our family needs to grieve at this difficult time."
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' new song, "Jesus Alone," comes from the forthcoming Skeleton Tree, with a performance video taken from the band's One More Time With Feeling film. Both are stark portraits of pain and understanding, with fuzz-fractured organ and spare strings that grind into the soul. With a voice that rumbles like smoothed stone, Cave travels through humanity to an old man sitting by a fire, a young man covered in blood, a woman in a yellow dress surrounded by a charm of hummingbirds. "With my voice, I am calling you," he sings as a creator visiting his creation, acknowledging its faults, its beauty, but also his imperfection: "You're a distant memory in the mind of your creator, don't you see?"
Skeleton Tree comes out Sept. 9 on Bad Seed Ltd.