Saturday, July 04, 2015

June Vinyl of the Month: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Boatman's Call

The early discography of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds has been seeing a gradual reissue since late last year. This month one of the crown jewels gets a new vinyl lease on life: The Boatman's Call, originally released in 1997, is perhaps a little more of simmer than the full boil of the previous year's Murder Ballads, but in its restraint it reveals a depth to Cave that was only hinted at earlier.

In a canon of songs that values manic storytelling and character studies, this quieter piano-driven affair may be the closest thing to a personal-slash-breakup album that Cave has recorded (with PJ Harvey being the purported muse for several of the songs). Atypical though it may be, it still serves a gentle entry point into the world of Bad Seeds and Birthday Parties and Grindermen that Cave has associated with for over 30 years now.