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Album: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, The Road (Mute)

Cave and his beardy Bad Seeds/Grinderman sidekick Warren Ellis have become prolific soundtrack composers of late, as shown by 2009's White Lunar, a retrospective collection that has, to be frank, probably been heard more often than the accompanying films were seen.

The Road, a John Hillcoat adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel, is a tale with a post-apocalyptic backdrop, and its themes of "absence and loss" audibly informed the writing of the score: a lesson in atmospherics, even if you never watch the film.