Speaking to frontman and chief songwriter Conor Oberst, producer Mike Mogis and fellow multi-instrumentalist and composer Nate Walcott via Zoom, I ask whether they think their music is more adventurous than often given credit for.
I think we help embolden the narrative of the songwriting. There are dozens of other examples where Bright Eyes toy with what on other records might feel like an indestructible barrier between listener and record. I think he sent us like 3 hours of talking, then me and Andy LeMaster who works with us a lot sat for hours and tried to weave it into the songs.
But then again that was the decision of their new record label, Dead Oceans. No one in the band wanted that! Photo: Danny Cohen. Mogis sees the new record, which is ambitious in scope, as a culmination of the vast and varied discography that proceeded it. It meant that we could deal with the essential parts a lot, a sense of melody that comes through that I think ties it to that sense of nostalgia.
It would be a shame, in fact, to overlook that expressive and raw aspect of their music that, although bolstered and elevated by their creative approach to recording, is still the chief source of their tremendous emotional pull. His seven year-long marriage to Corina Figueroa Escamilla also ended in divorce in Everyone with a brain in their head in this country has felt like a scared dog cowering in the corner getting kicked over and over again.
Given close inspection, however it is the best example yet of the inventive spirit that Bright Eyes have always used to elevate that songwriting, a record that consciously surmises all that comes before it, while also priming the next chapter. Share this article:. If you enjoy The Quietus, please consider supporting what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 October Retrieved 7 October Retrieved 4 November Retrieved 19 March Retrieved 16 December Album) 22 April Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2 December Single Top Retrieved 27 March Stichting Nederlandse Top Retrieved 1 December Ultratop Library and Archives Canada.
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