A post, post-script: when talking about Your Funeral… My Trial I managed to miss one of my all-time favourite songs. For, beyond ‘Sad Waters’ and ‘The Carny’, Your Funeral… My Trial is a testament to the (growing) band’s increasing cohesiveness and maturity. ‘Stranger Than Kindness’ is unsettling, seductive and haunting all at once, and it’s unlike anything that the Bad Seeds had done to that point – indeed, it’s quite different to where they went next, too. That might be because Nick Cave didn’t have a great deal to do with the song, beyond singing it. ‘Stranger Than Kindness’ is instead the work of Blixa Bargeld and Anita Lane (Cave’s on-again, off-again girlfriend/muse for much of the 1980s; a singer/songwriter, she has recorded with Einsturzende Neubauten, Die Haut and Mick Harvey).
It’s funny, in a way, that one of the best songs by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds has so little to do with Cave himself. Perhaps that’s what makes it memorable; rather than being a song where Cave exorcises his demons, here we get to hear him interpret someone else’s darknesses, perhaps even those he casts on them.