*Update: Hear a new song, “Shell Games,” here.
Conor Oberst commenced the interview rounds this week in promotion of one of my most anticipated records due out next year, Bright Eyes’ The People’s Key, offering a few teaser descriptions of what to expect from the Omaha troupe’s 7th full-length effort. As it turns out, Jason Boesel’s joke on Twitter about the record being “the most sci-fi emo album of the last 20 years” was perhaps not too far off in its suggestion that Bright Eyes have gone in a decidedly less retro direction. Oberst tells Billboard:
I wanted to make a record that was modern-sounding and steer clear of some of my tendencies, melodically. We’re over the Americana, rootsy, whatever that sound is. People say country, but I never thought were very country at all. But whatever that element is or that aesthetic is, I guess it’s worn a little thin for me these days. So we very much wanted it to be rocking and, for lack of a better term, contemporary, or modern.
What’s more, Bright Eyes are planning to “avoid the acoustic instruments” on recently announced U.S. tour dates, enlisting “two pretty deep keyboard rigs” instead for live versions of new and old songs. Have no fear though, unplugged purists, Oberst is still rocking the acoustic 6-string, as evidenced by this performance of Wide Awake cut “Another Travelin’ Song” with Ben Kweller a few weeks back in Brooklyn below: