NICK CAVE and WARREN ELLIS – ” White Elephant “

Posted: March 7, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis released a new album titled “Carnage”. It was somewhat of a surprise release, although Cave had previously hinted at the album on his website. While the album works well as a complete piece, we picked album highlight “White Elephant” for this list. It features Cave tackle somewhat current events with such striking lyrics as “A protester kneels on the neck of a statue/The statue says, ‘I can’t breathe/The protester says, ‘Now you know how it feels’/And he kicks it into the sea.” Cave is backed by an incredibly deep bassline and ominous strings, before a choir erupts midway through the song, singing, “A time is coming/A time is nigh/For the kingdom/In the sky”—and suddenly it’s a Spiritualized song.

Carnage is available now digitally via Goliath, and will be available on CD and vinyl on May 28th. 

Cave describes the album in a press release as “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.” Ellis adds: “Making Carnage was an accelerated process of intense creativity. The eight songs were there in one form or another within the first two and a half days.” For such a literate person, Nick Cave does his new album with Warren Ellis a bit of a disservice by choosing to describe it as “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.” That is, of course, an accurate description of what this music is, but it doesn’t really encompass everything Carnage can blossom into once it reaches the listener’s ear. Part of what’s made Cave and Ellis’ voluminous body of work so beguiling is the way that primary-colour descriptors like “brutal” and “beautiful” lose their meaning in the endless shades the two musicians have at their disposal. And to prime the audience to expect something that slots neatly into Cave’s setup is to constrain an extraordinarily complex work of art. 

In November of last year, Cave put out a solo live concert album, Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace, on Bad Seed Ltd.

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