I'm ashamed to say the first time I'd ever heard of Bright Eyes was when I read a few years ago in People magazine that Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz had danced to "First Day of My Life" at their wedding. Looked up the song and loved it. Then later randomly downloaded a Conor Oberst song, "Cape Canaveral," not realizing he was the Bright Eyes frontman and supposed lyrical genius with a cult following similar to that of my dear Ryan Adams.
"First Day of My Life" from I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
"Cape Canaveral" from Conor Oberst (solo album)
Steadily over the past few years, they've shown up more and more on my radar, but I'd resisted. I partake in enough cult-like followings, thankyouverymuch. But then, once I realized my friends who share the same intense Ryan love (HH4L) actually have similar obsessions with Conor/Bright Eyes. He was their Ryan before Ryan entered the picture. These are good people with good tastes. I trust them. And on a whim, I bought tickets to join them in Atlanta next weekend for a show, following last week's release of The People's Key.
So I've been listening. Taking it all in. Conor's warbly voice took some getting used to. He can be a downer in that beautiful kind of way. (Plus, let's face it... from Damien to Ryan to now Conor... I dig the downers.) But all of his songs are not about love (or loss). And every album is incredibly different. But he's a solid songwriter, and I like that he mixes it up. And he's quirky. I like quirky. I have some favorites to share for any of you not familiar as I once was, from past albums and the latest. The People's Key took a while to grow on me... it's a bit more mellow than I'd like for these gray winter days, but it's a solid album. Highs and lows. Good writing. Plenty of quirk.
I'm very much looking forward to the show next weekend. It will be my first time seeing a show at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, and I'll share it with some of my favorite people on this planet.
"Arc of Time (Time Code)" from Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
"You Will. You? Will. You? Will. You? Will." from Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
"At the Bottom of Everything" from I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
My favorite (and first release) from the new album:
"Shell Games" from The People's Key
I love the stanza that begins at 3:16.
Plus, he's pretty. Just sayin'.