Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have shared the first single Jesus Alone, from their new album The Skeleton Tree — with an accompanying video featuring footage from their new film, One More Time With Feeling.
After receiving a nebulous trailer for the forthcoming film/album dual release featuring short sound clips, we get the first proper single and it is as harrowing and imbued with tragedy as the trailer suggested about the new music going into this project.
Cave, who suffered a great loss with the death of his son in July 2015, wrote a new album following the critically acclaimed Push the Sky Away which, perhaps without even fully intending to, acts as an aural trip through his own grief.
The bass-heavy, pendulous synths bellowing under a motif of strings and piano chords makes a lingering feeling of devastation practically tactile while listening to the song.
Cave, whose rich, sonorous voice is at its best yet, delivers cryptic, ostensibly disjointed lyrics (“You’re an African doctor, harvesting tear ducts”) over the eerie instrumental.
The video is black-and-white footage from the upcoming movie, which shows the recording process behind the song where we see Cave singing from behind a piano.
This song is a truly evocative taste of what could be Cave’s darkest work yet.
One More Time With Feeling and The Skeleton Tree come out next week.
Watch the video for “Jesus Alone” below.