NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS – ” Carnage “

Posted: June 21, 2021 in MUSIC
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Carnage is a new album by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, recorded over a period of weeks during lockdown. Although the pair have composed and recorded many soundtracks together, and Ellis is a long-term member of The Bad Seeds, this is the first time they have released an entire album of songs as a duo. Cave describes the album as “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.”

“Making Carnage was an accelerated process of intense creativity,” says Ellis, “the eight songs were there in one form or another within the first two and a half days.” Cave and Ellis‘ sonic and lyrical adventurism continues apace on Carnage, an album that emerged almost by accident out of the downtime created by the long, anxious, global emergency. Carnage is a record for these uncertain times – one shot through with moments of distilled beauty and that resonates with an almost defiant sense of hope.

Cave & Ellis’ sonic and lyrical adventurism continues apace on Carnage, an album that emerged almost by accident out of the downtime created by the long, anxious, global emergency. Carnage is a record for these uncertain times – one shot through with moments of distilled beauty and that resonates with an almost defiant sense of hope.

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. Regardless of how the COVID backstory makes the music relatable, the ambiguity here—both disorienting and rewarding—is one of Carnage’s main selling points. 

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