Mick Harvey Releases A New Album

Mick Harvey today releases his first solo album in over 10 years, the latest in a run of albums that feature a blend of originals and interpretations of pre-existing songs. The fifth album in the series, Five Ways to Say Goodbye, is out now on Mute on vinyl, CD and digitally.

“The idea with these albums has always been that I am mostly doing really obscure songs,” says Harvey. “They’re favourite songs of mine, most of which aren’t that well known. I think they’re fantastic but they’ve maybe been a bit lost – unless you’re in a certain territory or scene.” And so here Harvey tackles songs by the likes of Ed Kuepper (co-founder of The Saints), Fatal Shore (Bruno Adams), David McComb (The Triffids / Blackeyed Susans), Loene Carmen and Lee Hazelwood.

These sit alongside his own compositions, and when crafting his the album – from the opening ‘Heaven’s Gate’ which unfurls beautifully, setting a tone for an album that is equally beautiful as it is mournful – to his reworking of a Marlene Dietrich track, ‘A Suitcase in Berlin‘, it became clear a theme was emerging. “It’s kind of about farewells or saying goodbye,” he says. “There’s a lot around that subject so it’s got a kind of melancholy and sentimentality around it.” 

The theme of saying goodbye is a multifaceted one on the record. The album is a reflection of time passed and life elapsed, and a literal goodbye in some instances. “A lot of the songs are by people who have moved on,” says Harvey.  ‘We Had an Island’ is one such example of a track – originally written by Bruno Adams (1963-2009), Harvey shines a light on one of “underground music’s best kept secrets”.

Five Ways to Say Goodbye sees Harvey create a coherent mood between other people’s songs and his own, as though they are all part of the same lineage and interconnected sonic world. As such, these re-workings go far beyond functioning as simple cover versions. “I don’t think cover is appropriate terminology,” says Harvey. “What I am doing is not, for the most part, a copy of the original. To my mind it’s more in the traditional of how songs used to be, where they would mutate and you’d end up with lots of different versions. One is really just passing the music on and sharing the songs further.”

There are few artists as endlessly versatile as Mick Harvey. From his powerhouse, role-shifting, contributions in the ferocious The Birthday Party, to being a central driving force in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, via crucial contributions in bands like Crime and the City Solution, Harvey leaves subtle yet indelible fingerprints on every project he touches. This, alongside his countless soundtracks – including ‘Ghosts… of the Civil Dead’ (Dir. John Hillcoat, 1988), ‘Chopper’ (Dir. Andrew Dominik, 2000), and the award-winning soundtracks for ‘Australian Rules’ (Dir. Paul Goldman, 2002) and ‘Suburban Mayhem’ (Dir. Paul Goldman, 2006) – as well as his numerous collaborations and roles as a producer and/or arranger for the likes of PJ Harvey, Anita Lane, Rowland S. Howard and Robert Forster, have given Harvey an unusually prolific and eclectic career.

The new album follows Harvey’s recent collaboration with Mexican artist Amanda Acevedo, who features on Five Ways to Say Goodbye, and will join him for UK and European tour dates in May and June – full details below.


  1. Heaven’s Gate
  2. We Had an Island
  3. Demolition
  4. The Art of Darkness
  5. Setting You Free
  6. Alone with the Stars
  7. Nashville High
  8. Ghost Ships
  9. Dirtnap Stories – featuring Amanda Acevedo
  10. When We Were Beautiful & Young
  11. A Suitcase in Berlin
  12. Like a Hurricane


Latest ticket links can be found HERE