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The premiere of the title track from Nick Cave’s new album, ‘Wild God’

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds; Facebook

If you’re a loyal 88Nine listener — and I know you are — you may have heard on our music news segments that legendary rocker Nick Cave was prepping a new album with The Bad Seeds for release later this year. Today, we’re proud to join a select group of radio stations premiering the lead single and title track, “Wild God.”

While we live in an age of hyperbole, the first word that came to mind as I listened to the 5-minute album version was “epic.” This song is a trip, a journey, a ship cruising on calm and then very suddenly not-calm-at-all seas.

Cave’s familiar quavering voice sets the scene in the first 90 seconds, telling of a man long past his prime seeking to regain some of the greatness in his past. The relative stillness of that first second gives way to a brief swell of instrumentation that hints at what’s to come — but not before Cave returns to his main character:

And the people on the ground cried, “When does it start?”
And the Wild God says, “It starts with the heart … 
… With the heart, with the heart, with the heart”

And the people on the ground cried, “When does it end?”
And the Wild God says, “Well, it depends, but it mostly never ends”
‘Cause I’m a Wild God flying in a Wild Goddess swing
And I’m an old, sick god dying and crying and singing

That’s when the choir comes in.

The last two minutes just take off from there with singing and a wash of instruments and Cave practically wailing over it all, “Well he’s moving through the plains of anarchy, and he’s moving through the winds of tyranny, and the sweet, sweet tears of liberty moving ’round the world.”

It’s a wild and strangely moving track that I strongly encourage you to experience through headphones at a loud but safe volume for the full effect. So put ’em on, hit that “Listen” button at the top of the page, and enjoy.