Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
About Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Fronted by rock ‘n’ roll’s Prince of Darkness, The Bad Seeds have practiced creative destruction since their inception, always transforming their sound to challenge and invigorate listeners. Australian singer Nick Cave and multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey formed the band from the ashes of their post-punk group The Birthday Party in London in 1983. Their chilling 1984 debut, From Her to Eternity, helped establish Cave’s singular, mythic lyricism as he plumbed the depths of human darkness through stories about sinners and demons. The band relocated to West Berlin in 1985 and developed the dark, theatrical sound that defined their intense ‘80s output, with feverish numbers like 1988’s “Deanna” or “The Mercy Seat”—a whirling crescendo sung from the perspective of a man headed to the electric chair—becoming fan favourites. As the ‘90s dawned, the band turned their focus toward composition instead of attempting to capture the electrifying energy of their live shows. The lush, piano-heavy atmospheres of “The Ship Song” (from 1990’s The Good Son) signalled a shift toward a more ornate, pop-leaning sound that continued with songs like 1994’s shadowy “Red Right Hand” and 1996’s gloomy Kylie Minogue duet “Where the Wild Roses Grow”, as well as on 1997’s sparse, romantic The Boatman’s Call. The band’s artistic evolution has bloomed enormously in the 21st century, buoyed by multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis’ expanding role. Songs like 2013’s “Jubilee Street” found them at the heights of orchestral grandeur, while 2016’s electronic-infused Skeleton Tree and 2019’s ethereal Ghosteen found Cave expressing a profound grief in the wake of his son’s death.