Now I've never made any secret of my love of the magnificent Conor Oberst and, in particular, his work under the Bright Eyes moniker. So I was quite excited to read on pitchfork.com that Bright Eyes were to "return with new songs", though a little disappointed when I read the article... It goes on to inform us about the re-release of a 2004 work entitled "One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels", a collaboration between Bright Eyes and Neva Dinova. In March this rather difficult to find record will be reissued with 4 new tracks, two sung by Oberst and two by Neva Dinova frontman Jake Bellows. Not exactly the full length release that I was expecting when I saw that headline!
I really don't think much needs to be said about the work of Conor Oberst. The man is an amazing, prolific worker. Last year we saw the release of the self-titled debut from Monsters of Folk, a "supergroup" (Yes I wince when I hear the term too!) that included Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes regular Mike Mogis, as well as Jim James (the angel voiced frontman of My Morning Jacket) and folk troubadour M. Ward. A pretty solid record, though I must admit it just made me yearn for the days of old when we were treated to regular Bright Eyes releases - 2005 alone saw three!
For any who have not yet explored the riches of Bright Eyes, get your hands on "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" and "Lifted or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground" as soon as you can. Both found their way to my top ten releases of the last ten years.
If you have listened to Bright Eyes and like what you've heard, then maybe you could continue your search by listening to "Outer South" - the now final record released under the name Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. I feel it is Conor's most consistent work outside the Bright Eyes field.
Conor confirmed last year in an interview with Rolling Stone that he planned to "retire" Bright Eyes this year. He has promised us one final release, expected sometime in Autumn, so let's hope that he goes out at the top of his game!
Check out Saddle Creek Records for more information on all the above, and on future releases from Conor Oberst and his various projects!
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.