Beths blog : Skeleton Tree



Usually when a record arrives at my house we open it and look at the artwork, talk about it, listen to it once the kids give us a chance…but we’ve been waiting a long time for this one, it’s been a pre order. It’s Nick Cave’s new album, and it arrived with a big sticker across the padded envelope that said FRAGILE in big bold red letters. It’s been sitting in view on top of the record player still in its envelope for a few days now, it feels as though a piece of Nick Caves broken heart is inside. Which in a way is true. This is the album he was writing when he tragically lost his son last July. He decided to carry on with the album, to finish it off at the same time as going through the grieving process. That sentence sounds almost mechanic and blank, but the album feels heavy. The front cover is black, minimal. Inside is a photograph of Cave. Weather it was taken before or after Arthur’s death, it still reels with unspoken sadness.


A lovely fellow Nick Cave fan friend gave me a bottle of espresso stout from the bad seed brewery so we felt it was finally time to open the precious parcel.


Ive been a huge fan of Cave sice I was about 14. My mum is a big fan, as is my brother, so his music has always been the soundtrack for us growing up. I still need his music in my life today I suppose when you’ve been returning to something so often in your life it becomes part of your life too. He’s been the source of angstyteenage art projects right through to the tunes my kids know very well nowadays. Especially ‘papa won’t leave you henry’ …

The single ‘Jesus Alone’ was released last week. This bleak dark eerie track has even struck a chord with my kids and they stop what they are doing and listen to it hard whenever it comes in the radio. To me it sounds like a long stretched out version of ‘Weeping Song’ , I mean really stretched out and vast like the feeling of loss….and that’s before you even hear the chorus ‘…with my voice I am calling you’. You can hear his voice crack as he sings this line later in the song. With the slow breathing in the violins you can feel how heavy it is.

Even though we don’t know the man. We hold his sadness. When something so sad happens to someone you don’t know you can still feel upset too. Is it empathy? I don’t know, but the record is still on top of the record player, unplayed. We are going to have to listen to it soon.

It’s interesting though, this was Nick Caves way of dealing with the tragedy that happened last year. He’s a very private man, but this seems like he’s opened a door into his life. People can come in sit and listen quietly and then leave him alone.

The espresso stout was delicious though. Absolutely full of flavour! Great bottle design too! Definitely one to look out for if you need a kick!


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