Bright Eyes Announces Companion Series

Bright Eyes have have unveiled plans to re-issue all nine of their studio albums as a ‘Companion’ series with additional recordings
Bright Eyes have have unveiled plans to re-issue all nine of their studio albums as a ‘Companion’ series with additional recordings

Bright Eyes have have unveiled plans to re-issue all nine of their studio albums as a ‘Companion’ series with additional recordings created together at their ARC Studios in Omaha. The album reissue series will be partnered with the release of a Companion EP of five new recordings of songs contained on the original release plus a cover version from an artist they found particularly inspiring at the time of the original recording. The Companion series gives Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott a chance to revisit some of their earlier material and re-work it entirely – with the occasional addition of some talented friends. The project will see the release of 54 new recordings over the coming year.

Bright Eyes began in 1995 as a recording moniker for a then 15-year old Conor Oberst’s work with producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis. Mogis and composer/ arranger/ multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Walcott became fully fledged members in 2006. Over the course of 23 years the music’s impact and influence has been significant; Bright Eyes’ songs have been covered by dozens of artists, including Lorde, The Killers, Mac Miller, Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch, Phoebe Bridgers, Snow Patrol, Jason Mraz and beabadoobee. ​​For a band that’s often been perceived as an outlier, the depth, breadth, and impact of the Bright Eyes canon is remarkable. Over the last two-plus decades, as Bright Eyes has released one after another time capsule LP’s – urgent dispatches from transcendent, fleeting eras of our collective lives – they’ve also simultaneously been assembling a robust, mature, narratively cohesive discography.

“It’s a meaningful way to connect with the past that doesn’t feel totally nostalgic and self-indulgent,” says Conor Oberst of the ambitious series. “We are taking these songs and making them interesting to us all over again. I like that. I like a challenge. I like to be forced to do something that’s slightly hard, just to see if we can.”

It’s the desire to celebrate that sonic bounty that first got Oberst and the band excited about the idea of comprehensive reissues. But this wouldn’t be a Bright Eyes project if a moment devoted to appreciating the past weren’t turned into an opportunity to connect with the future. That’s where the nine companion EPs come in. Or as Oberst puts it, “the supplemental reading” for the primary reissues: One six-track EP per reissued album, each featuring five reworked songs from that album. “My thing was they had to sound different from the originals, we had to mess with them in a substantial way.” Plus one cover that felt “of the era” in which that particular album was made – a song that meant something to the band at the time. To help the EPs come alive in the fullest way, Bright Eyes called in some old friends; for the first batch of releases the featured guests are Waxahatchee, Phoebe Bridgers, M. Ward and Becky Stark (of Lavender Diamond).

A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997: A Companion

1) “Driving Fast Through A Big City At Night”

2) “Solid Jackson”

3) “A Celebration Upon Completion”

4) “Falling Out of Love At This Volume”

5) “Exaltation On A Cool Kitchen Floor”

6) “Double Joe” (Simon Joyner cover)

Letting Off The Happiness: A Companion

1) “The Difference In The Shades”

2) “The City Has Sex (feat. Waxahatchee)”

3) “Contrast And Compare (feat. Waxahatchee)”

4) “Kathy With A K’s Song (feat. M Ward)”

5) “St. Ides Heaven (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” (Elliott Smith cover)

6) “June On The West Coast (feat. Becky Stark)”

Fevers and Mirrors: A Companion:

1) “Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)”

2) “A Scale, A Mirror, And Those Indifferent Clocks (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)”

3) “Arienette”

4) “Hypnotist (Song for Daniel H)” (Lullaby For The Working Class cover)

5) “When The Curious Girl Realizes She Is Under Glass (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)”
6) “A Spindle, A Darkness, A Fever, And A Necklace (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)”

A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997:

1) “The Invisible Gardener”

2) “Patient Hope In New Snow”

3) “Saturday As Usual”

4) “Falling Out of Love At This Volume”

5) “Exaltation On A Cool Kitchen Floor”

6) “The Awful Sweetness Of Escaping Sweat”

7) “Puella Quam Amo Est Pulchra”

8) “Driving Fast Through A Big City At Night”

9) “How Many Lights Do You See?”

10) “I Watched You Taking Off”

11) “A Celebration Upon Completion”

12) “Emily, Sing Something Sweet”

13) “All Of The Truth”

14) “One Straw”

15) “Lila”

16) “A Few Minutes On Friday”

17) “Supriya”

18) “Solid Jackson

19) “Feb. 15th”

20) “The ‘Feel Good’ Revolution”

Pre-order Bright Eyes Companion Series HERE

Bright Eyes
Live Dates

03-23 St. Paul, MN – Palace Theatre
03-24 Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater
03-25 Madison, WI – The Sylvee
03-26 Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
03-27 Detroit, MI – The Cathedral Theatre at the Masonic
03-29 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
03-30 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
03-31 Louisville, KY – Paristown Hall
04-01 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
04-02 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
04-03 Columbus, OH – Express Live!
04-05 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
04-06 Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre
04-07 Boston, MA – Roadrunner
04-08 Philadelphia, PA – The Met
04-09 Washington, D.C. – The Anthem
04-10 Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
05-19 Oklahoma City, OK – The Jones Assembly
05-20 Dallas, TX – The Factory in Deep Ellum
05-21 Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
05-22 Houston, TX – The Lawn at White Oak Music Hall
05-23 New Orleans, LA – Orpheum Theater
05-25 Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall
05-26 Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
05-27 Miami Beach, FL – Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater
05-28 St Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
05-29 Atlanta, GA – The Eastern
05-31 Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
06-01 Cincinatti, OH – Brady Music Center *
06-02 Richmond, VA – Brown’s Island *
06-03 Ashbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summerstage *
06-04 New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall *
06-05 Lafayette, NY – Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards *
06-15 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
06-16 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
06-17 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
06-18 Troutdale, OR – McMenamin’s Edgefield Amphitheatre
06-20 San Francisco, CA – The Masonic
06-23 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
06-24 San Diego, CA – Soma
06-25 Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
06-28 Salt Lake City, UT – The Union
06-30 Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom
07-01 Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
07-02 Omaha, NE – The Admiral
07-03 Omaha, NE – The Admiral
08-12 Oslo, Norway – Øyafestivalen 2022
08-14 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
08-16 Hamburg, Germany – Fabrik
08-17 Prague, Czech Republic – Lucerna Music Bar
08-19 Berlin, Germany – Tempodrom
08-20 Frankfurt, Germany – Batschkapp
08-22 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
08-23 Cologne, Germany – Carlswerk Victoria
08-25 Vienna, Austria – Arena Open Air
08-26 Munich, Germany – Muffathalle
08-27 Zurich, Switzerland – X-Tra
08-30 London, England – Eventim Apollo
08-31 Manchester, England – O2 Apollo
09-01 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
09-05 Birmingham, England – O2 Institute Birmingham
09-06 Glasgow, Scotland – Barrowland