Following the boisterous rave-ups of 2008’s Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! and a brief but ferocious two-album tenure in Grinderman, Nick Cave’s 15th album with the Bad Seeds — the first not to feature career-long co-conspirator Mick Harvey — is a decidedly slower burn, seemingly a retreat to the gentler, statelier mode of contemplative mid-career efforts like The Boatman’s Call. But don’t mistake the smoother sound (and relative dearth of guitars) for a sign that the man’s getting soft in his mere mid-50s. Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.) may be a restrained affair — but only in the manner of something that just might erupt if not forcibly held back. These purring, organ-drenched instrumental atmospheres float atop an ever-lingering sense of menace and mystery, perfect shrouds for Cave’s evocative, increasingly surreal storytelling — as likely to reference quantum physics and Wikipedia as ancient my-thology and blues folklore. His poetry remains as primal and libidinal as ever.
Tue., March 19, 8 p.m., $39.50-$62.50, with Sharon Van Etten, Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, 215-572-7650, keswicktheatre.com.