Conor Oberst has meant a lot of things to a lot of different people over a lot of years. For a lot of fans, myself included, Conor Oberst will always be the mopey, emo-charged, folk singer behind Bright Eyes – a band that has gotten us through a lot of the highs and lows within our lives. But Oberst has also worn different hats within his career – rootsy Americana with the Mystic Valley Band, hardcore punk with the Desaparecidos, and a super group with The Monsters of Folk. Throughout all these different incarnations, it is Oberst’s own solo outputs under his own name that he has found the most success with besides his efforts with Bright Eyes. Not coincidentally, it is also the incarnation that is most similar to Bright Eyes music.
Conor Oberst‘s newest record Upside Down Mountain then will be his second widespread-released solo album, a good six years after his self-titled debut. With a little assistance from the ladies of First Aid Kit and their lovely harmonies, Upside Down Mountain finds Oberst harkening back to the 60’s inspired folk rock he lovingly created in his self-titled record. Though more somber and carefully nuanced in a lot of places versus its predecessor, it’s just as soothing and reassuring. Upside Side Mountain feels so wonderfully familiar to long-time fans of Conor Oberst and of Bright Eyes that it becomes a pleasure to listen to.
Listen to the joyous first single Hundreds of Ways embedded below.
Conor Oberst – Upside Down Mountain comes out 5/20 via Nonesuch (order here)