Conor Oberst on Bright Eyes’ “raw” new album: “We wanted to feel like the band we started as kids”

"My favourite stuff walks the line between the human, raw, emotional and unhinged qualities, but with a little more sophisticated approach”

Conor Oberst has opened up about what to expect from Bright Eyes‘ first new album in nine years.

After announcing their return with a new record deal on Dead Oceans along with a run of comeback tour dates, the band then shared the single ‘Persona Non Grata’ and promised to release a new album this year “no matter what”.

Speaking to NME about their return and what to expect from the record, Oberst revealed that their intention was “to make something that felt like a Bright Eyes record with nine years of practice”.

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“We wanted to invoke some elements of our oldest records,” Oberst told NME. “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 favourite stuff walks the line between the human, raw, emotional and unhinged qualities, but with a little more sophisticated approach.”

Bright Eyes
Bright Eyes (Picture: Shawn Brackbill / Press)

Quizzed about the lyrical ideas of the record, Oberst said: “Loss is a big theme on the album, of all kinds – personal and macro amounts of loss. There’s some hope in it as well and some love songs.

“It’s not overtly political. Like our previous records it’s personal with world views swirled together. Those things do affect one another. Relationships are always set against the backdrop of what’s going on out there. As we’re seeing right now, the world is very unpredictable and chaotic. That’s the human experience and the human experiment.”

Head here to read our full interview with Oberst discussing the band’s friendship and future, as well as the ongoing corona pandemic and working with Phoebe Bridgers. 

Bright Eyes’ upcoming UK tour dates are below:

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September
1 – London – Eventim Apollo
2 – Manchester – O2 Apollo
3 – Glasgow – Barrowland
4 – Dublin – Vicar Street
5 – Birmingham – O2 Institute
6 – Salisbury – End of the Road Festival

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