Posts Tagged ‘Conor Oberst’

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When Bright Eyes announced their first new album since 2011, the media excitedly reported on the band’s reconciliation. But, in reality, Bright Eyes never really broke up. They wandered in different directions, sure, but there were no hard feelings. Gathering to record “Down In The Weeds Where The Worlds Once Was” was a matter of good timing and schedules aligning. Frontman Conor Oberst suggested the idea for a new record at bandmate Nathaniel Walcott’s Christmas party in 2017, and the pair called the third member of their trio Mike Mogis from the bathroom to pitch the idea. “It was just something we wanted to do for ourselves, because we were all in this stage of our lives…” Oberst says. “Between kids being born and people dying and divorces and people falling in love and all of the crazy amount of life that’s transpired for the three of us, personally… It was just like, what are we going to do? Let’s do the thing we do best. Let’s make a record.” They certainly did some of their best work on Down In The Weeds… The album sounds undeniably like a Bright Eyes record, but it ebbs and flows with new anxieties and darknesses. Fans will delight in a true-to-style Bright Eyes record, but, at the same time, any music fan will be able to appreciate the gruesome grandeur of this folk-rock mastery.

“Mariana Trench” the new song by Bright Eyes off ‘Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was’ out August 21 on Dead Oceans.

Bright Eyes have been back with a few new songs of late and today we finally get the announcement that we’ve all been waiting for. Conor Oberst and co. are back with their brand new album (their first in 9 years), “Down In The Weeds Where The World Once Was”, which will be released on August 21st via Dead Oceans.

A lone pair of footsteps meanders down a street in Omaha, into the neighborhood bar and then into a near-imperceptible tangle of conversations – about wars, sleepless nights – a surrealist din pushing against the sound of ragtime. Then, as the background quiets, a line rings out clearly: “I think about how much people need – what they need right now is to feel like there’s something to look forward to. We have to hold on. We have to hold on.”Thus we enter the fitting, cacophonic introduction to Bright Eyes’ tenth studio album and first release since 2011. Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was is an enormous record caught in the profound in-between of grief and clarity – one arm wrestling its demons, the other gripping the hand of love, in spite of it.The end of Bright Eyes’ unofficial hiatus came naturally. Conor Oberst pitched the idea of getting the band back together during a 2017 Christmas party at Bright Eyes bandmate Nathaniel Walcott’s Los Angeles home. The two huddled in the bathroom and called Mike Mogis, who was Christmas shopping at an Omaha mall. Mogis immediately said yes. There was no specific catalyst for the trio, aside from finding comfort amidst a decade of brutal change. Sure, Why now? is the question, but for a project whose friendship is at the core, it was simply Why not?The resulting Bright Eyes album came together unlike any other of its predecessors. Down in the Weeds is Bright Eyes’ most collaborative, stemming from only one demo and written in stints in Omaha and in bits and pieces in Walcott’s Los Angeles home. Radically altering a writing process 25 years into a project seems daunting, but Oberst said there was no trepidation: “Our history and our friendship, and my trust level with them, is so complete and deep. And I wanted it to feel as much like a three-headed monster as possible.”

Bright Eyes: Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was: Limited Edition Transparent Orange + Red Double Vinyl 2LP, CD + Exclusive Signed Print
Along with the album announcement comes the release of the newest single “Mariana Trench,” which is another winning effort from the band who seems rejuvenated with a new lease of life here. The band is tapping into the fully formed songwriting that made us fall in love with them in the full place, while also flexing a new muscle at the very same time.

“Mariana Trench” is the next song by Bright Eyes off ‘Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was’ out August 21st on Dead Oceans.

Legendary indie-folk trio Bright Eyes has released the next single off their highly anticipated upcoming reunion album. Bright Eyes’ last studio LP, titled The People’s Key, was as long ago as 2011. Since then, the band has been relatively inactive, although frontman Conor Oberst has continued a steady stream of releases. Most recently, Oberst teamed up with Dead Oceans-signee Phoebe Bridgers to form the Better Oblivion Community Center supergroup. The duo’s eponymous debut album was released in 2019.

In February 2020, Bright Eyes joined Bridgers and quietly signed to Dead Oceans, leading many to speculate a new album was in the works. Since then, three singles have been released: “Persona Non Grata,” “Forced Convalescence,” and now most recently, “One and Done.”

Each single has been a clear continuation of past Bright Eyes releases, with fresh twists. “One and Done” features almost psychedelic production set against Oberst’s characteristically pointed, folksy vocals. There’s also a heavy emphasis on strings in this track, providing extra depth and a sense of melodrama.

In a recent interview with NME, Oberst described the upcoming album as an extension and improvement of past work:

“We wanted to invoke some elements of our oldest records… The sounds aren’t all pristine and super-manicured. We wanted to feel like the band we started as kids who were into punk rock and stuff like that. My favorite stuff walks the line between the human, raw, emotional and unhinged qualities, but with a little more sophisticated approach.”

Despite having released three singles, neither the band nor Dead Oceans have provided any further details regarding the record’s title or its release date. Additionally, Bright Eyes has had to postpone upcoming 2020 tour dates (the first in almost a decade) including a performance at End Of The Road Festival in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. There are many uncertainties regarding Bright Eyes’ reunion, yet the three singles released so far are incredibly compelling: keep an eye out for upcoming announcements.

Bright Eyes, photo by <a href="">Shawn Brackbill</a>

Conor Oberst were coming to New York, L.A., England, and Japan, Bright Eyes signed to Dead Oceans for a new album and then announced their first live performances in more than nine years. Conor Oberst was about to play England’s End of the Road festival festival in September. befor the lockdown happened.

Dead Oceans co-founder Phil Waldorf said in a press release, “Bright Eyes is not just a formative artist for me personally, but for countless people who work at Dead Oceans. To get to work with a band that is part of our own origin stories in falling in love with music is the rarest of privileges. We are thrilled to be part of another great chapter in Bright Eyes enduring legacy.”

Bright Eyes’ last studio album was 2011’s The People’s Key. Earlier this month, the group launched an Instagram account, posting a mysterious teaser video. They’ve also shared images of posters plastered on city walls via their Instagram stories. Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nathaniel Walcott signed to Dead Oceans and have been recording, with intentions to release new music this year. The band have also shared a teaser video featuring them recording in the studio with an orchestra.

Their shows were to include a stop at Dorset, England’s End of the Road festival, There has been speculation that there might be more in the works from Bright Eyes this year after the band popped back up on social media recently.

Since Bright Eyes went on hiatus, Mogis has kept busy as a producer and Walcott has worked as a film composer. Oberst’s punk band Desaparecidos also reformed for 2015’s Payola.

“Persona Non Grata” features Conor Oberst (vocal, piano), Mike Mogis (bajo sexto), Nathaniel Walcott (Hammond organ, electric piano), Macey Taylor (bass), Jon Theodore (drums, percussion), Joe Todero (bagpipes), Malcolm Wilbur (bagpipes), Joe Fuchs (bagpipes), and Susan Sanchez (vocals).

It is produced by Bright Eyes, engineered by Mike Mogis with assistance from Adam Roberts. Mixing by Mike Mogis. Mastering by Bob Ludwig.

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Bright Eyes are the Omaha, Nebraska based band consisting of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nathaniel Walcott.

Bright Eyes have returned with new song “One and Done,” the third track released from their upcoming new album, following the previously shared “Forced Convalescence” and “Persona Non Grata.”

“One and Done” is built with some lovely string arrangements that give reminds a bit of some of The Last Shadow Puppets earlier work, just with a more introspective and vulnerable folk performance from Obsert as well as some welcome horns.

It’s another wonderful new track from the band who are back in fine form. We need that album as soon as possible.


Released May 27th, 2020

Folk singer-songwriter and Phoebe Bridgers super friend Christian Lee Hutson is about to release his new LP “Beginners”. “I went with “Beginners” as the title because that’s where I feel like I am in my life — like I’m still just learning and trying to figure out how to navigate the world,” Hutson says. He co-wrote several songs for Bridgers’ boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center records, and in return, she recorded and produced the entirety of his album at LA’s Sound City Studios.

Christian Lee Hutson shared another Beginners track “Get The Old Band Back Together”, which arrives with a video starring album producer Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst.

We’ve already heard a few songs from the upcoming Beginners “Northsiders,” “Lose This Number,” “Talk.” And now, Hutson has shared one last advance single before the record’s release later this month. “Get The Old Band Back Together,” which features Conor Oberst on Harmonica, Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy on electric guitar, Sharon Silva on harmonies, Anna Butterss on bass, and Marshall Vore on drums, is a warm, comfortably melodic folk-rocker.

“Get The Old Band Back Together” by Christian Lee Hutson from the album ‘Beginners,’


“A few years ago I ran into the drummer of a still-together band from my high school, who had just been kicked out,” Hutson explains. “When he told the singer he’d been considering becoming a building inspector, the guy gave him an ultimatum: the band or inspecting buildings. He chose to inspect buildings, a decision that may have been impacted by the fact that the band never played a show or recorded a song. Still, he was pretty bummed about it, and that gave me the idea for this song.

“I had been wanting to make something with my director friend Michael Tyrone Delaney, who’d had this idea to splice up old talent show footage with footage of me and some friends showcasing some of our own ‘talents,’” he continues. “My partner, Sharon Silva, showcases her Irish dancing. My childhood hero, Conor Oberst, takes an aggressive, impromptu harmonica solo in the video (and on the recording). My adulthood hero and best friend, Phoebe Bridgers, plays a master of puppets. We shot it in April so everyone had to self tape. Every single he’s released has been stellar. I’ve been raving about “Northsiders” and “Lose This Number” for months now. This guy is the real thing and I can’t wait for the record.

Bridgers and Huston are good friends and frequent collaborators. He co-wrote songs for her Better Oblivion Community Center project with Conor Oberst, and her boygenius project with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.

On how he picked the LP title, Hutson explains, “I went with Beginners as the title because that’s where I feel like I am in my life – like I’m still just learning and trying to figure out how to navigate the world.”

“Talk” by Christian Lee Hutson from the album ‘Beginners,’ available May 29th

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It’s the second single Conor Oberst and his band have shared since 2011. The bad news: There are no bagpipes on the new Bright Eyes single. The good news? There is Mellotron, harpsichord, a full choir, and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist/Back to the Future Part II actor Flea on the eventful track.

“Forced Convalescence” is the latest unexpected turn from Conor Oberst’s recently revitalized indie project, following their much-hyped re-introductory single “Persona Non Grata,” released last month, and their signing to Dead Oceans in February. With a proper follow-up album to 2011’s The People’s Keys yet to be announced, the single will keep us guessing as to what else Bright Eyes has in store for us in 2020.

The band — Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Wolcott

Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nathaniel Walcott) have shared their first new song in nine years, “Persona Non Grata.” The band previously announced that they had signed to Dead Oceans and had been recording, with intentions to release new music this year. They also previously announced a world tour. In January they also shared a teaser video featuring them recording in the studio with an orchestra. Check out the track “Persona Non Grata” below, followed by a statement from the band and the band’s tour dates (hopefully they won’t be postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19).

While Oberst has kept busy in the last decade with solo and collaborative projects (such as last year’s Better Oblivion Community Center duo with Phoebe Bridgers), the band with which he made his name have not released an album since 2011’s The People’s Key.

In a previous press release Dead Oceans co-founder Phil Waldorf had this to say about signing the band: “Bright Eyes is not just a formative artist for me personally, but for countless people who work at Dead Oceans. To get to work with a band that is part of our own origin stories in falling in love with music is the rarest of privileges. We are thrilled to be part of another great chapter in Bright Eyes enduring legacy.”

Since Bright Eyes went on hiatus, Mogis has kept busy as a producer and Walcott has worked as a film composer. Oberst’s punk band Desaparecidos also reformed for 2015’s album release Payola.

“Persona Non Grata” by Bright Eyes out now on Dead Oceans Records.


Hearing Conor Oberst’s froggy, pain-dappled voice paired up with a frank, wispy lady like Phoebe Bridgers. On their self-titled debut as Better Oblivion Community Center, he’s pushing forty, learned and weary after nearly thirty years in the business, while she’s still in the first bloom of fame at twenty-four—and the intermingling of their fragile dispositions makes good sense. Oberst’s voice is always quivering like the last leaf on an autumn tree, while hers cocoons his like a silver lining, patient as a lullaby.

Better Oblivion Community Center performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded March 17th, 2019.

Songs: Dylan Thomas Didn’t Know What I Was in For Little Trouble Easy/Lucky/Free

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst come from the same musical orbit. One could even argue, the two songwriters—age 24 and 38 respectively—are like long-lost musical siblings. Though at vastly different points in their careers, both musicians know how to crush and revive listeners with inspired woe, romantic poignancy and their instantly recognizable, consoling pipes.

Bridgers’ breakout 2017 debut LP, “Stranger in the Alps”, and her recent work with critical darling supergroup, boygenius, has safely reserved her position in the club of young singer-songwriters poised for rosy careers. Oberst has dozens of records to his name, most notably with the angsty indie outfit Bright Eyes, then as a solo artist and with bands like Desaparecidos and Monsters of Folk. Whether it’s the fictitious firm they reference on their band social media accounts or the album of the same name. With one new song, “Little Trouble” available on their new 7-inch single.

Better Oblivion Community Center is a healing endeavor, and though the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the former, the latter is undoubtedly potent. They capture the serenity of a still lakefront, the spontaneous vigor of a thunderstorm, the lifelong, scenic memories of a childhood road trip and the peaks and troughs of relationships. The two tear-jerking singer/songwriters are at the peak of their powers here, and they’ve managed to distill the exhilaration of that one summer you hoped would last forever and the crackling warmth of a bonfire into 10 effortlessly touching tracks.