Nick Cave’s Hiding Songs

What’s This Playlist All About? Dark rock genius and all-around badass Nick Cave shares his “hiding songs” in response to a fan’s question regarding his 10 most favorite pieces of music. In response, Cave describes what a hiding song is: these are songs that feel like “they were designed with you especially in mind.” He continues, “My ‘hiding songs’ serve as a form of refuge for me … They are songs that I can pull over myself, like a child might pull the bed covers over their head, when the blaze of the world becomes too intense. I can literally hide inside them.”

What You Get: Cave also states that a hiding song is one “that no one could ever begin to understand … in the way you do.” Still, his 10 sacred choices seem perfectly justifiable, and certainly hold the same intangible, deeply profound chill Cave pulls off plenty himself. He kicks off the mix with Leonard Cohen’s haunting “Avalanche,” a track that Cave covered back in 1984, before powering through a smoldering list of singer/songwriter legends in their moodiest moments, including Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, and Brian Eno.

Sweetest Surprise: It’s no secret that Cave has long been a fan of Karen Dalton. Still, the addition of Dalton’s sparse rendering of “Katie Cruel,” a sullen traditional ballad about an 18th-century harlot, is stunning to hear sandwiched between Cohen and Young.

What’s His #11 choice? Cave also responds to the last part of the fan’s question, which demands that “number 11 must be a Gun Club song.” His response: the dusky, 1982 cut “Mother of Earth.” It’s not on the playlist itself, so you’ll have to search for that one all on your own.