Bright Eyes

Centred around the prolific songwriting of Conor Oberst and backed up by multi-instrumentalists Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott and a revolving cast of musicians and friends, Bright Eyes was seen ostensibly as a solo project following in a long tradition of American folk singer-songwriters. A child protégé who first came to attention as a 14-year-old in the emo band Commander Venus, Oberst released a leftover batch of his songs on his own Saddle Creek label after the Commander's demise and, forming Bright Eyes, was quickly dubbed “the new Bob Dylan.” Staunchly political, the band gained wider recognition while performing alongside Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and R.E.M. on the Vote For Change tour, which campaigned for the Democratic party during the 2004 US presidential election. Successful singles “Lua” and “Take It Easy (Love Nothing)” paved the way for the classic I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (2005) and the electronic experimentation of Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005) - both released on the same day. But controversy followed when Oberst dressed in a cowboy hat and performed the politically charged, anti-George Bush snarl “When The President Talks to God” live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Bright Eyes returned with the country-tinged concept album Cassadaga (2007), which reached Number 4 in the US charts. Oberst then went on to form the supergroup Monsters of Folk with Mogis, M. Ward and Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and released solo records under the moniker Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. Bright Eyes broke a four-year silence with the more rock-oriented The People’s Key (2011), which premiered via NPR’s First Listen series and reached Number 13 on the Billboard 200 Chart. After a tour with The Mountain Goats, the band played their final show in Honolulu that same year before going on an indefinite hiatus once again. In subsequent years, Oberst released three solo albums and teamed up with indie-rock songwriter Phoebe Bridgers for the project Better Oblivion Community Center, while Mogis and Walcott composed the soundtrack for 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars. Almost a decade since their last concert, they surprised their fans with the single “Persona Non Grata,” which was quickly followed by the announcement of a new record, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was (2020), dedicated to Oberst’s late brother.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Bright Eyes

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