The Flaming Lips and Nell Smith share cover of Nick Cave’s ‘The Ship Song’

The band and a young fan are releasing a whole album of Cave covers

The Flaming Lips and young fan Nell Smith have shared their second Nick Cave cover – listen to their version of ‘The Ship Song’ below.

As announced last month, the band have teamed up with 13-year-old Smith for a full cover album of Cave songs, with ‘When The Viaduct Looms’ being released on November 26.

Smith has been attending Flaming Lips gigs for three years and caught the attention of frontman Wayne Coyne after being spotted at the gigs with her father several times. The pair eventually exchanged contact details and recorded the covers album together remotely during the pandemic.


In a statement about the collaboration, Coyne said: “It is always great to meet excited, young creative people. 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.”

Watch the band cover Nick Cave’s ‘The Ship Song’ below:

Discussing her own experience working with the band, Smith added: “I still can’t really believe it. It was a really steep learning curve but Wayne was so encouraging when I was struggling with a few of the songs that I kept going.

“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.”


See the artwork and tracklist for ‘When The Viaduct Looms’ below. The album is out on November 26 via Bella Union and available to pre-order here.

The Flaming Lips

1. ‘Girl In Amber’
2. ‘Weeping Song’
3. ‘Into My Arms’
4. ‘O Children’
5. ‘The Kindness Of Strangers’
6. ‘No More Shall We Part’
7. ‘Red Right Hand’
8. ‘The Ship Song’
9. ‘We Know Who You Are’

After the release of the ‘Girl In Amber’ cover, Nick Cave himself shared his love for the version, saying: “This version of ‘Girl in Amber’ is just lovely, I was going to say Nell Smith inhabits the song, but that’s wrong, rather she vacates the song, in a way that I could never do,” said Cave.

“Nell shows a remarkable understanding of the song, a sense of dispassion that is both beautiful and chilling. I just love it. I’m a fan.”

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