Love Letter To A Record: ŽIVA On Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ ‘Skeleton Tree’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

ŽIVA – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree (2016)

It is really tough to pick just one record that affected your life, especially when there is at least one you prefer for each particular mood. Not to mention the fact that there is a whole other category for music you grew up with and the one you listen now. But for this instance, I’ve decided to focus on the one that is currently holding a special place in my heart and that is Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s Skeleton Tree (I might have secretly picked this one out to be the lucky charm that will finally bring me to his live gig). And as much as I try to create party playlists for myself and enjoy uplifting songs, the reality is that I just prefer sad songs.

Nick Cave has been in my life since the age of 14 and his songs are probably the strongest in the ability to evoke memories of me as a teenager who is walking by the river Bosut in my hometown, Vinkovci, during foggy and frosty winters. But it is not just about evoking memories, it is also about the ability to slow me down and bring me closer to myself. Although ‘Girl in Amber’ makes me incredibly sad, I cannot help but notice how it manages to pull me into a calm and safe space where all of a sudden it is totally OK to cry or just to sit and look at the horizon.

I listen to Nick whenever I take long walks through the park, or when I wish to just lay down on the floor and reset. He helps me ground myself and I really need that quite often. Whenever I think a song needs something more, I think of Skeleton Tree where it’s all about ‘less is more’, or how honesty is indescribable yet so freaking powerful.

ŽIVA is a Croatian-born, Melbourne-based avant-garde artist who’s just revealed her foreboding new single ‘Dualism’.

“I’ve been working on myself for such a long time, learning how to fight depression, live with OCD and all sorts of anxiety disorders that make simple things much harder,” the artist explains.

“And to realise that I am my own biggest enemy was the hardest truth to swallow. ‘Dualism’ gave me an opportunity to set myself accountable – to visualise the feelings of burnouts and mental entrapment (hence mask/cage on the artwork) I put myself through over and over again, with the hope that I can become my own best friend.”

Listen below!

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