Maybe we tweeted about this already—I don’t know, who can keep up anymore?—but it’s worth a few more than 120 characters. Conor Oberst links up with “his boy” Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and the gals from First Aid Kit to sing a truly lovely song on the banks of a lake. “Lua” is a Bright Eyes tracking going way back to 2005 but sounds like it could just as easily be from 1974 Laurel Canyon.
We love some Oberst here at GLONO HQ and if this is an indication of his new album then I guess we best get hopping and add it to the library.
“I know you have a heavy heart, I feel it when we kiss. So many men stronger than me throw their backs out trying to lift it.” That’s some deep shit there. We’re declaring this the last song of the summer of 2014. Grab a Pabst, smoke a J, and take a swim.
Sounds like Bright Eyes, but it’s his first solo album since some cassette releases in the mid-90s. Why go solo now? Who knows? Maybe Merge made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and since “Bright Eyes” is so historically tied to Saddle Creek, it wouldn’t have seemed right…
‘NOW’ Remains No. 1 As Bright Eyes Debuts High: “Bright Eyes…earns its best sales and charting week as Cassadaga bows at No. 4 with 58,000 units. The Conor Oberst-led group had previous bests with the simultaneous 2005 release of a pair of albums, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, which debuted at No. 10 and No. 15 respectively. Wide Awake started with 56,000 and has since moved 394,000 copies.”
Not as strong as recent first-week sales from Arcade Fire (92,000), the Shins (118,000), or Modest Mouse (129,000), but still respectable. Saddle Creek apparently doesn’t quite have the same… um… muscle as Merge, Sub Pop, or Epic… Or something.
Pitchfork first created an MP3 page back in the autumn of 2001. But until a couple weeks ago when they rebranded it as Forkast, the mp3 page was strictly an ad revenue channel, just like the free CD that comes with Magnet magazine. Bands and labels paid Pitchfork to post their mp3s. The small print at the bottom of the page disclaimed: “Paid promotion. No critical endorsement of these songs by Pitchfork should be assumed.”
Who knows how bands and labels get their mp3s posted on the new Forkast, but so far they’ve given out some pretty interesting tracks. We’ll try to give a regular round-up of the best stuff that isn’t available elsewhere, or at least the stuff we think you ought to hear.
Looking back, the far-reaching and ambitious Lifted is still a great album—nearly landmark, diminished only in its tendencies to indulge in Conor Oberst’s vices; associating the rocky upswings and vibrato/falsetto with emotion divided listeners. Those who could tolerate these occasionally painful moments were rewarded with more than enough off-beat lyricism and memorable arrangements to compensate. But some could just not get over that voice—perhaps in jealousy of the effortlessly prolific writing from someone so young, so naïve and world-weary all at the same time. [Plus, he’s just so damn pretty—Ed.] He’s a galvanizing figure, to be sure, and has attracted more attention (positive or negative) then most of our generation’s iconic music figures.