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Record Sleeve of Nick Cave Carnage. Design by Hingston Studio, London

Carnage

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

  • Campaign

Carnage is an album by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, recorded over a period of weeks during lockdown. Although the pair had previously composed and recorded numerous soundtrack works together, this is the first time they had released an entire album of new music as a duo.

Nick Cave described the album as, “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.”

The record is rooted in the idea of isolation and displacement, themes that were echoed in the artwork and campaign. The fragmented treatment of the title was employed as a means of softening the brutality of the word itself – compositions were continuously rearranged across formats to evoke the idea of something in flux. An expansive use of white space was a deliberate nod to the idea of emptiness, where words and lyrics appeared suspended in a void. This notion was then further extended into the accompanying book – which, printed onto bible paper, suggested a sense of fragility and allowed words, titles and lyrics to gently permeate throughout the pages.

The sleeve received a 2022 Grammy Nomination for Best Recording Package.