Last week, Bright Eyes appeared on KEXP at Home performing a live in-studio performance that the band had pre-recorded exclusively for KEXP. The band is fresh off the August release of their new album Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, their first since 2011’s The People’s Key. The new album is as good as you’d expect from Conor Oberst these days. Many would say that he never really “lost it” but there has been a real uptick in the quality of his music ever since the Phoebe Bridgers collab on Better Obvlivion Community Center back in 2019.
The KEXP performance also reflects that Oberst and Bright Eyes still have that chilling element of despair that made them so special in the first place. Despite having released a new album just a few months prior they decided to open this one with “Cleanse Song” off their 2007 album Casadega. Following that they rip “From a Balance Beam”, which is even older, coming from 2002’s LIFTED or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground.
Finally, after displaying a keen ability to bring life to the old classics, they touch upon some new material with “Mariana Trench”. Oberst really nails the vocals here, especially near the end. He really drives home the emotion in the closing verse. They close out the performance with “Persona Non Grata”, the lead single off Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was.
Watch Bright Eyes live on KEXP at Home below. If you’re interested in the interview as well, check that out here.Follow @extrachill on Instagram!