Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Vortex”

Tino Vacca

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Vortex”

Tino Vacca

Nick Cave is 63 years old, and he’s one of the few artists of his generation who’s still making music that’s just as intense and vital and fearless as what he was doing when he was much younger. Thus far this year, Cave has teamed up with his Bad Seeds bandmate Warren Ellis to release the Carnage album, and he’s also come out with “Letter To Cynthia,” a one-off song inspired by a question from a fan. Today, Cave has announced plans to release a new collection of B-sides, rarities, and unreleased tracks that’ll cover a pretty great period of his career.

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds released their three-disc B-Sides & Rarities compilation in 2005, and Cave now says that he likes that collection better than any of the band’s actual albums. Today, Cave has announced the 27-track collection B-Sides & Rarities Part II, which covers the period from 2005 to 2020. Cave and Ellis curated the compilation, which includes the original recordings of “Skeleton Tree,” “Girl In Amber,” and “Bright Horses.”

Cave has also shared “Vortex,” a gently throbbing track that he and his bandmates recorded in 2006. At the time, according to a press release, Cave and his collaborators couldn’t decide whether “Vortex” would be a Bad Seeds song or whether it should go to their Grinderman side project. They’ve never released “Vortex” until now, though it has been out there on YouTube. Below, listen to “Vortex,” check out the B-Sides & Rarities Part II tracklist, and read what Cave has to say about it.

Cave says:

I always liked the original B-Sides & Rarities more than any of our other albums. It’s the only one I’d listen to willingly. It seems more relaxed, even a bit nonsensical in places, but with some beautiful songs throughout. There is something, too, about the smallness of certain songs that is closer to their original spirit.

B-Sides & Rarities Part II continues this strange and beautiful collection of lost songs from The Bad Seeds. I love the final side of the last disc because it reveals the small and fragile beginnings of some of my favourite Bad Seeds songs. “Waiting For You” complete with bizarre “canning factory” rhythm track, a gorgeous “Life Per Se” deemed too sad for Skeleton Tree, and “Earthlings” that some consider the finest track of the Ghosteen sessions.

01 “Hey Little Firing Squad”
02 “Fleeting Love”
03 “Accidents Will Happen”
04 “Free To Walk” (with Debbie Harry]
05 “Avalanche”
06 “Vortex”
07 “Needle Boy”
08 “Lightning Bolts”
09 “Animal X”
10 “Give Us A Kiss”
11 “Push The Sky Away” (live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)
12 “First Skeleton Tree”
13 “King Sized Nick Cave Blues”
14 “Opium Eyes”
15 “Big Dream (With Sky)”
16 “Instrumental #33”
17 “Hell Villanelle”
18 “Euthanasia”
19 “Life Per Se”
20 “Steve McQueen”
21 “First Bright Horses”
22 “First Girl In Amber”
23 “Glacier”
24 “Heart That Kills You”
25 “First Waiting For You”
26 “Sudden Song”
27 “Earthlings”

B-Sides & Rarities Part II is out 10/22, and it’ll be available in a box set with the first volume. Pre-order it here.

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