Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Conor Oberst has certainly been plenty busy since Bright Eyes’ 2007 album Cassadaga—performing with his Mystic Valley Band and Monsters Of Folk, putting the plight of illegal immigrants into folk-song form—so it’s perhaps no surprise that he told Rolling Stone last year that he planned to retire the band that made Conor Oberst a thing in the first place. But before that, there’s the matter of Bright Eyes’ seventh (and possibly final) album, The People’s Key, due out via Saddle Creek on February 15. Oberst is joined once more by key Bright Eyes personnel Nathaniel Walcott and Mike Mogis—as well as various Omaha homeboys from Cursive and The Faint—for 10 songs of “artfully arranged…engaging and mesmeric songwriting” that, at first glance at the tracklist, anyway, has nothing to do with immigration. In fact, Rilo Kiley/Mystic Valley Band drummer Jason Boesel calls it “the best sci-fi emo album of the last 20 years.” Take that, um…. Mars Volta, we guess? Here’s the tracklist:

1 Firewall
2 Shell Games
3 Jejune Stars
4 Approximate Sunlight
5 Haile Selassie
6 A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key)
7 Triple Spiral
8 Beginner’s Mind
9 Ladder Song
10 One For You, One For Me


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