He’s been a drunken balladeer, a snowbound pianist, and a rowdy purveyor of sun-baked folk, so what, pray tell, will Conor Oberst’s next move be? Last year, the croaking songwriter dropped a winning LP with Phoebe Bridgers as Better Oblivion Community Center, and now he’s teasing a return to the moniker he made famous: Bright Eyes.
How you remember Bright Eyes, of course, depends on when you listened to them. Perhaps you recall Oberst declaring to “Kathy With A K” that “love is real” against an out-of-tune guitar, or maybe you pumped a fist to the twangy, seesawing fiddles of Cassadaga’s “Four Winds.” Either way, you probably loved it as much as you were embarrassed by it. Such is the joy of being an Oberst fan.
Well, the band—comprised primarily of Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott—hasn’t released an LP since 2011's The People’s Key, but a new Instagram account for the outfit—brighteyesofficial—popped up on Thursday, a #BrightEyes2020 hashtag accompanying a cryptic GIF of bodies ascending and descending. It’s unclear what it all means, but it’s not as if Oberst isn’t open to reuniting old projects. In 2015, he revived his 2000s punk band Desaparecidos for a riotous tour and LP.
Our eyes turn to Omaha in search of something.
Even if it’s...something vague.