Bright Eyes have released “Forced Convalescence,” the track, is the second single off their forthcoming LP, which will be released via Dead Oceans. It’s been two months since Bright Eyes returned with news of their signing to a new label, and a run of live shows which quickly sold out. Those are now, unfortunately, being reassessed while Covid-19 safety measures are in place. While 2020 touring plans are being rearranged.
“Forced Convalescence” features Conor Oberst (vocal), Nathaniel Walcott (piano, mellotron, synthesizers, harpsichord, choir arrangement), Mike Mogis (electric guitar), Flea (bass), Jon Theodore (drums, percussion) and Kip Skitter (percussion). The Choir are Jason McGee (conductor), James Connor, Quishima Dixon, Natalie Ganther, Anthony Johnson, Edward Lawson, Jennifer Lee, Sharetta Morgan-Harmon and Marquee Perkins. It is produced by Bright Eyes, engineered by Michael Harris and Steve Churchyard – assisted by Chris Cerullo and Chandler Harrod. Mixing by Mike Mogis. Mastering by Bob Ludwig. Written by Conor Oberst and Nathaniel Walcott.
The year 2020 is full of significant anniversaries for Bright Eyes. Fevers and Mirrors was released 20 years ago this May, while Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning both turned 15 in January. The latter, a singer-songwriter tour-de-force released amidst the Bush presidency and Iraq war, wades through incisive anti-war rhetoric and micro, intimate calamities. On the title track and throughout the record, Oberst sings about body counts in the newspaper, televised wars, the bottomless pit of American greed, struggling to understand the world alongside one’s own turmoil. In its own way, I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning carved out its place in the canon of great anti-war albums by being both present and prophetic, its urgency enduring 15 years later.
In 2011 the release of The People’s Key, Bright Eyes’ ninth and most recent album, ushered in an unofficial hiatus for the beloved project. In the time since, the work of the band’s core members – Oberst, multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis, and multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Walcott – has remained omnipresent, through both the members’ original work and collaboration.