Push The Sky Away

Album: Push The Sky Away (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track of Push The Sky Away, the fifteenth studio album by the Australian Alternative Rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It was their first LP without founding member and multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey. Produced by Nick Launay, who helmed the band's three previous studio albums, the record was recorded in the South of France at La Fabrique. The 19th Century mansion holds that country's second largest collection of classical music on vinyl. According to Cave, Push The Sky Away's contemporary setting of myths are woven into details of life observed around his seaside home of Brighton. "These songs convey," he said, "how on the Internet profoundly significant events, momentary fads and mystically-tinged absurdities sit side-by-side and question how we might recognise and assign weight to what's genuinely important."
  • The album's cover image shows Cave opening one of his bedroom Georgian window shutters to illuminate his naked wife, model Susie Bick. Speaking with The Guardian, Cave was at pains to point out the picture wasn't his idea. He explained that he walked in on his wife's photoshoot for a French magazine just as photographer Dominique Issermann happened to press the shutter button: "I was more reluctant to use it than she was, to be honest," he said.
  • Regarding the meaning of this life-affirming song, Cave told The Sun: "We all have this feeling of the world folding in on us. Whether it's environmental, the economy, nuclear or whatever, I don't think there's anyone on the planet who's walking around thinking things are okay.
    "So to me, there's this idea that we need to carry on and do what we do. The song is optimistic in that respect. Of course it's impossible to push the sky away but we need to try."
  • The song features a children's choir from the French school not far from the La Fabrique studio. Cave told The Sun: "None of them could speak a word of English and did all the singing phonetically but they gave the whole thing a very beautiful, eerie feel."
  • The Push The Sky Away album debuted at #1 in a number of countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Holland, New Zealand and Portugal. The Bad Seeds also scored their highest chart placing in the U.S. after the record landed at #29 on the Billboard 200.
  • Primal Scream singer Bobby Gillespie recalled to Uncut magazine being in the audience at London's O2 Arena for The Bad Seeds September 2017 Skeleton Tree tour gig. What he didn't expect was to find himself singing a duet version of this song with Nick Cave, a moment captured by audience members and put on YouTube.

    "He did his walkabout during 'Push The Sky Away,' Gillespie remembered. "He was in the row behind me and I grabbed his leg and said 'Nick Nick!' And he shouted 'Bobby!' and then pulled me up and had me sing. He did the line, 'and some people say it's just rock and roll, but it gets you right down to your soul,' which I love, then he passed me the mic. I had to hope for the best. I did my version of the chorus, and it was alright. It was amazing, amazing. I tell you, I was flying after that."

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