NPR Reads – Nick Cave

Once a week, different employees at NPR write about something they read recently that intrigued them. We call it #NPRreads. I wrote one about Nick Cave’s new album, and a solid track review in Pitchfork:


In my mind, all great records have a right place on the calendar. Not when they’re released necessarily, but when the world’s climate conforms to them.

Julien Baker’s Sprained Ankle is a winter record, Real Estate’s Days is a spring record, and Who Is Mike Jones is best enjoyed in the dog days of summer. This is inarguable.

Skeleton Tree, the grief-stricken new album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, is an autumn masterpiece.

Sam Sodomsky captured the album’s “stirring core” track, called “I Need You,” in a review for Pitchfork this week:

“Cave drifts between half-recalled memories, placing them into a more fragmented mindset than his trademark, character-filled storytelling. He sees a red dress falling, a black car waiting. He’s standing in the doorway; he’s in line at the supermarket. The images never coalesce into a clear narrative, but they amount to something even greater: a lifetime flashing before your eyes, so sad and real that it could be your own.”

Skeleton Tree is a cool evening’s walk through a town where you’re surrounded by people, and known by no one. It’s a record tailor-made for you to watch the leaves fall.

Brian Fallon Loves Bruce Springsteen, Just Please Don’t Leave It At That

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Brian Fallon, photographed by Danny Clinch. (Courtesy of Big Hassle Media)

With his band The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon was on the precipice of rock stardom in the late 2000s. The band played “The Late Show with David Letterman” multiple times, and topped the Billboard charts.

While critics loved the band’s first few albums, they also saw a similarity between Fallon’s gravelly tone and New Jersey storytelling and the state’s native son, Bruce Springsteen.

Now, with his first solo record, Fallon says he doesn’t want his career to be lost in a Springsteen comparison.


My NPR Music and Here & Now profile of Fallon originally aired nationally on Sept. 6. You can listen to it here, and check out a curated Brian Fallon playlist I made.