A song that’s minimalistic right down to the spelling of its title, “We No Who U R” — the first new track from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds since 2008’s riotous Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! — is almost a lullaby in Cave’s terms. Although time will tell if the group’s new album Push the Sky Away, which comes in a super-deluxe edition with a reproduction of Cave’s lyric books, is as subdued as its lead single, “We No Who U R” suggests the singer-songwriter shook free his hard-rock demons on Lazarus and the intervening record he made with primal noise rockers Grinderman. In its own way, the song seems to be a completely negative exposure of Grinderman: instead of leveled-out feedback and Cave’s howling, the song is built on sparse piano twinkles, whining violin and his near-whispered singing. For an artist who’s known for his diversity, it’s a sign of somewhat different things to come.
Push the Sky Away comes out February 19 via Bad Seed Ltd. and is available for preorder here.