Indie darlings Bright Eyes have made their grand return by releasing Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, their first album in nine years.
From the start of their eccentric opener “Pageturners Rag,” the careful creativity and hard work that went into the follow-up to 2011’s The People’s Key is immediately visible. Rather than imitating their earlier discography, Bright Eyes focus on evolution, detailing their perspective on our quasi-apocalyptic world over the course of 14 tracks.
The band teased their comeback with the tracks “Persona Non Grata,” “Forced Covalescence” and “Mariana Trench.” Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea contributed to the latter two songs, while Queens of the Stone Age drummer Jon Theodore played on “Mariana Trench.”
“I had a lot of tough times, but my hope is that the songs that I write encapsulate as much as I can the entirety of the human experience, or how strange it feels to be alive,” frontman Conor Oberst told The Independent in a recent interview. “We all know that there’s beauty and terror and everything in between. Some songs and some lines definitely feel like some kind of message in a bottle crying for help but I’m really not. I’m expressing a feeling that I had on a given day, that’s what came out.”
Listen to Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was: