Nick Cave, “Avalanche” from Black Sails on Starz (2015): One Track Mind

Share this:

Nick Cave’s relationship with this striking Leonard Cohen track goes back to 1984’s From Her to Eternity, his debut recording with the Bad Seeds. Time has only deepened his way with the lyric.

Back then, he forever transformed Cohen’s croaking croon with a very modern brand of bone-chilling gothic nihilism. It seemed, quite reasonably, that this was a dark as “Avalanche” could ever get.

Yet it just got darker, with this new Nick Cave reading in a trailer for the pirate drama Black Sails, which sees its Season 2 premiere on Saturday, January 24, 2015 on Starz. Stripped down to its girders, with only a crumbling Cave vocal and a suddenly melancholic piano, “Avalanche” takes on an epic, swirling sadness largely unhinted at in any previous pass.

Leonard Cohen gave it a hard-eyed sense of pride; Nick Cave (originally, at least) a self-annihilating acceptance. Today, “Avalanche” reaches out to us, finally — if not for salvation, at least for some understanding about the wrongs we’ve all done.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close