The Flaming Lips Enlist 13-Year-Old Fan for Nick Cave Covers Album

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The Flaming Lips have recorded a Nick Cave covers album, Where The Viaduct Looms, out Oc. 25, and enlisted a 13-year-old fan as a guest vocalist on tracks, including their rendition of Bad Seeds’ “Girl in Amber.”

Nell Smith, who has been attending Flaming Lips shows with her father for the past three years, was invited to come on board the new Lips project by frontman Wayne Coyne. “It is always great to meet excited, young creative people,” said Wayne. “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.”

Following the band’s 2020 release American Head, Where The Viaduct Looms—a line pulled from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 1994 track “Red Right Hand”—was recorded remotely during the pandemic and features covers of the artist’s songs throughout the past 30 years.

Smith joins the line of The Flaming Lips’ more interesting collaborations, including most recently with Kacey Musgraves offering backing vocals on American Head track “God and the Policeman,” and Coyne co-writing Miley Cyrus’s fifth album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz in 2015.

In a statement, Smith said she enjoyed learning more about Nick Cave and that Coyne and co. helped her get through some of his more calamitous tracks.

“I still really can’t believe it, it was hard to get through all the songs but Wayne was so encouraging when I was struggling with a few of them that I kept going,” said Smith in a statement. “It was a really steep learning curve. 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.”

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