Nick Cave and Warren Ellis Release Surprise Album 'Carnage'

The first non-soundtrack jointly credited to the longtime collaborators is out now
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis Release Surprise Album 'Carnage'
Photo: Joel Ryan
In January, Nick Cave revealed that he and longtime collaborator Warren Ellis had recorded a new album titled Carnage. Now, the duo have surprise-released the eight-track effort via Goliath Records, with the physical version to come on May 28.

In a press release, Cave called Carnage "a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe." Added Ellis, "The eight songs were there in one form or another within the first two-and-a-half days and then it was, 'Let's just make a record!' There was nothing too premeditated about it."

The album synthesizes many of the sounds from Cave's most recent works, including the chilling electronics of 2016's Skeleton Tree and the narratively fragmented orchestrations of 2019's Ghosteen, infused with a compositional looseness that recalls Cave's live shows with his backing band, the Bad Seeds, and Ellis' work as a member of Dirty Three.

Cave and Ellis first worked together when the latter played violin on Cave's 1994 album, Let Love In. Ellis officially joined the Bad Seeds in 1997, and Cave and Ellis formed rock band Grinderman in 2006. 

Carnage marks the first non-soundtrack jointly credited to Cave and Ellis. The pair have worked together on the soundtracks to films and TV series since 2005, including KingsWar MachineWind RiverMarsHell or High WaterLoins Des HommesThe Road and The Proposition

Carnage isn't Cave and Ellis's only collaboration this year. Marianne Faithfull's forthcoming album, She Walks in Beauty, is credited to Marianne Faithfull with Warren Ellis, and Cave has contributed piano to the record.

Listen to Carnage below and check out Exclaim!'s review.