14-year-old Nell Smith and The Flaming Lips have revealed a new Nick Cave covers album titled Where the Viaduct Looms. Featuring nine Nick Cave covers, including the previously released "Girl In Amber" and "The Ship Song," it was released November 26 and is now available to stream.
The band met Nell Smith due to her regular attendance at their live shows. Always wearing a parrot costume, Smith was eventually recognized by singer Wayne Coyne. She first met Coyne at a Flaming Lips show in Calgary, Canada three years ago. He sang a David Bowie cover directly to her, and Smith sang the track back. Coyne then stayed in touch with Smith's father and inspired the girl to pick up a guitar and write her own songs.
Eventually, Coyne planned a trip to record with the band in Oklahoma and suggested that Smith record some Nick Cave tracks and email them to the Lips so they could record backings. Where the Viaduct Looms is the result of their collaboration.
It’s official! It is the release day of my new album ‘Where The Viaduct Looms’, a series of #nickcave covers I created with @waynecoyne @theflaminglips 🌈 Available on all streaming services HERE: https://t.co/PZOk4Sk6GU@nickcave #nellandtheflaminglips pic.twitter.com/XhQqOcIovB— Nell Smith Music (@NellSmithMusic) November 26, 2021
“It’s always great to meet excited, young creative people,” Coyne said. “With Nell we could see she is on a journey and thought it would be fun to join her for a while and see if we could get things going. It was a great way to connect with her and help harness her cool attitude to making music.”
Coyne told Consequence of Sound: "I think Nell and I just wanted to start to make some music and see what would happen. Doing cover songs is a fun way, in the very beginning, to get things rolling along. I picked Nick Cave, ’cause I love his music and lyrics, and I thought, ‘Nell probably doesn’t know very much of his [Cave’s] music, and she might (because she has NO pre-conceived notions) just do something very simple, heartfelt and original.’ And… SHE DID!!"
The first track the group recorded was “Girl in Amber,” which was shared last year. Cave himself responded to the cover on his website: “This version of ‘Girl in Amber’ is just lovely, I was going to say Nell Smith inhabits the song, but that’s wrong, rather she vacates the song, in a way that I could never do,” he said. “I always found it difficult to step away from this particular song and sing it with its necessary remove, just got so twisted up in the words, I guess. Nell shows a remarkable understanding of the song, a sense of dispassion that is both beautiful and chilling. I just love it. I’m a fan.”
Where the Viaduct Looms was released via Bella Union / [PIAS] and was mastered by Dave Fridmann at Tarbox Road Studios. In addition to the record's digital release, a cassette version of the project will be available to purchase December 17. Find it here.
In other Flaming Lips news, the psychedelic rock band stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last month to perform “Mother I’ve Taken LSD,” and have recently taken to performing inside giant bubbles on their ongoing American Head American tour. Tickets for upcoming dates can be found here.
Listen to "The Ship Song" and find the album's full tracklist below.
Where The Viaduct Looms Tracklist:
- Girl In Amber
- Weeping Song
- Into My Arms
- O Children
- The Kindness Of Strangers
- No More Shall We Part
- Red Right Hand
- The Ship Song
- We Know Who You Are
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