Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have released yet another heart-string tugging album, “Skeleton Tree,” following a three year hiatus.

On the first track, “Jesus Alone,” Cave speaks and sings to audiences calling to them with an Australian accent creeping.

“With my voice I am calling you. Let us sit together until the morning comes. With my voice I am calling you.”

Although the album is only eight tracks long, every individual song is like a story in its own. With a slow tempo throughout, Cave really connects with listeners by slowing parts of songs down to the point of almost speaking tempo. Sit down in a room with nothing but this album playing and become consumed by cymbals fading in and out, light, angelic voices serenading behind Cave’s deep voice and chilling lyrics.

Cave’s voice sounds exhausted throughout the album as if he has reached his final monologue. Each song seeming like another story for Cave to push through the pain and tell us. Cave’s voice trembles and fades out throughout tracks like “Girl in Amber,” but Cave doesn’t hesitate to stifle those trembles with his instantly recognizable deep, rich voice he’s been lending us since the 1980s.

Cave is known for singing about the sadder things in life, but “I Need You” could be one of the saddest tracks of all albums thus far.

“Nothing really matters, nothing really matters when the one you love is gone. You’re still in me baby, I need you. In my heart, I need you.”

As the sixth track of the album, Cave’s singing voice shines through with powerful choruses backed by otherworldly voices harmonizing as one. The song is screaming to care and care deeply because what you love can be gone and leave you feeling empty.

“Skeleton Tree” is an ode to growing older and a look at the ever-ticking clock of life. It’s a call to love and care for others because before you know it, they’re gone.

<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/laura-schmidt/" rel="tag">Laura Schmidt</a>