See: Nell & The Flaming Lips drop their take on the Nick Cave classic, ‘Red Right Hand’

Nell & The Flaming Lips

IT’S the latest brilliantly wonky full-covers project from Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd and the boys, whose new heady fwend is budding Canada-via-Yorkshire songsmith Nell, in the company of whom they’ve taken on the catalogue of no lesser a god of the darker side than Nick Cave himself.

With that full album of Cave covers, Where the Viaduct Looms, out now on Bella Union, they’ve released a video for their take on one of the most gilt-edged classics in the Cave oeuvre: “Red Right Hand”. You can watch that below.

The video features a live performance from Nell and the Lips of which Nells says: “I really loved working on these live videos.

“Shooting this was the first time I had the opportunity to actually play music with the Lips as we recorded the whole album remotely. Performing live gives the whole thing more energy and I can’t wait to do more.” .

The story of this unlikely collab began when Smith, originally from Leeds (UK), moved to Canada and first met Wayne Coyne at the age of 12 at The Flaming Lips’ headline show at the Sled Island Festival, Calgary, in 2018 with her family. Nell had already attended several Lips shows and was a regular at the front of the stage, dressed in a parrot costume and screaming out the band’s songs. Coyne soon began to notice the kid in the parrot suit and sang a David Bowie cover directly to her at the show in Calgary, with Nell singing every word back.

Wayne then began to take this fan and fledgling guitarist under his wing, and collaborated as she wrote her first songs.

When a planned trip to record with the band in Oklahoma was cancelled due to the virus, Wayne suggested she record some Nick Cave songs and email them over to be backed by the band; and thus was an album born. Nell wasn’t aware of Nick’s mighty oeuvre and thus thought she would bring a new approach to the songs.

Wayne says: “It’s always great to meet excited, young creative people. 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.”

Nell adds: “I still can’t really believe it. It was a really steep learning curve but Wayne was so encouraging when I was struggling with a few of the songs that I kept going.

“I hadn’t heard of Nick Cave but Wayne suggested that we should start with an album of his cover versions, and then look at recording some of my own songs later. It was cool to listen and learn about Nick Cave and pick the songs we wanted to record.”

The nine-song album features rereadings of Cave classics such as “The Weeping Song”, “Into My Arms”, “No More Shall We Part”, The Ship Song” and more.

Nell Smith/The Flaming Lips’ When The Viaduct Looms is out now digitally and on cassette; you can order yours direct from Bella Union, here.

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