2013 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience - Day 1

Conor Oberst’s name has been popping up on festival bills galore lately, which suggested a new solo album was afoot. Sure enough, an excerpt from a new Rolling Stone story confirms that Oberst is putting the finishing touches on a country-tinged new LP in Nashville.

No word whether the new album will be credited to the Mystic Valley Band as was 2009′s Outer South, but that seems unlikely given the personnel. From the sounds of the interview the project was largely a collaboration between Oberst, the Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit (who sing backup vocals throughout the album), and Dawes/Father John Misty producer Jonathan Wilson, who adds what RS calls “jammy, Jerry Garcia-esque flourishes.” The story reveals that one song called “Time Forgot” features the lyric “I’m gonna work for my sanity, give it everything I got,” and in the interview Oberst makes a point to distance himself from his overly “verbose” early material: “That might be cathartic when you’re doing it, but it doesn’t necessarily hold up.”

One intriguing tidbit from the story is that around the time Bright Eyes was touring behind 2011′s The People’s Key, Oberst worked for six months on a screenplay starring the Monsters Of Folk, his supergroup with Jim James, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis. Oberst describes project, which eventually fizzled, as “an allegory about how the Internet is destroying humanity. Speaking of which, he also spouted off about his distaste for social media while sipping pinot noir:

I don’t know if it makes me an asshole to not want to talk to my fans. But I’m not going to sit on a fucking computer and try to talk to some fucking 16-year-old in wherever-the-fuck. I try to remind myself to be grateful. I’m not a fucking superstar. I’m not a bazillionaire. I get to do my shit, and for the most part people leave me alone. And that’s the way I want it.

So: Get excited for some new Conor Oberst music soon, and please leave him alone.

Comments (19)
  1. you hear him, 16-year-olds, you’re gonna have to toughen the fuck up if you want to listen to conor oberst.

    • 16 was about the age that I realized was a total asshole, which broke my teenage heart. At the time I was naive enough to think that if you sung about being broken-hearted and lonely you must be sincere about it.

      I’m glad I got over that naivety, because there are too many assholes in music for me to not listen to their music.

    • Given that he did end up taking both Joyce Manor and So So Glos out on tour with Desaparecidos at separate times, I think their audiences are where got him so rattled about those 16-year-olds and their rascally iPhones.

  2. What happened with the whole accusation of rape??? I haven’t heard anything about it since the story first appeared.

    • Kind of strange that that’s not even mentioned here.

      • Well, it could be true… it could be false. But since it’s nothing but an internet rumor with no proof it would be unfair to mention it at every mention of his name forevermore.

      • it is indirectly mentioned. The multiple mentions of how the internet is destroying everything and how Conor dislikes the internet, I think clearly are subtle and not so subtle statements on the accusations.

        Also, perhaps Stereogum took the comments of its users to heart, when they posted the original allegations, and how people were correctly flipping out because the allegations are just that, allegations. At this point there isnt any evidence suggesting Conor committed any crime or is guilty.

        I think its pretty clear why the headline reads “Is not a fan of the internet”.

        Rape should be condemned and people who commit such crimes should be punished. But until theres actual evidence linking Conor to the crime, its silly to act like he’s a criminal. I seriously doubt the case will go to court. At this point its just some anonymous reddit user posting allegations.

        Sorry, Im gonna need ALOT more than that to paint someone a criminal, folks!

      • The reason I brought this up is because it is obviously the last time we saw Conor Oberst in the headlines, and it is just weird to pretend it never happened. I’m not trying to soil his character or anything. I find it strange that the dots were not connected between Oberst saying what he said here, and him being accused of rape so recently. “Accused of rape”, I’m well aware it was only an accusation.

    • I only read the above article quickly but I believe he addressed it when he said, “But I’m… going to sit on a fucking computer and try… fucking 16-year-old in wherever-the-fuck.”

      Take my word on it. I’m an Internet commenter.

    • Can’t lie – it’s been influencing my decision not to wear my bright eyes shirt. But is it really MY decision?

  3. so – probably no new desaparecidos lp :(

  4. since the allegations came out ive been wondering what Klara and Johanna think of Conor now, and if they still support him. First Aid Kit seem like the type of girls who wouldnt take any crap. So, if they no longer support him, the new project could be awkward if they are included on it

    • The interview also mentions that Conor quietly got married in 2010, which was news to me. Maybe the reason he feels no need to address the allegations further is because he truly doesn’t feel like it’s any of our business to know what’s going on with it? I dunno…

  5. would fit with who he is as a person too. He’s never been an attention seeking artist. Even when he was blowing up with Im Wide Awake, its not like he was seeking fame and money and attention. He seems extremely shy, and I think he feels very much, that his personal life is just that. Personal, and not our business. And thats 100 percent accurate.

    He’s always been a hero of mine for precisely these reasons. His persona lends more credibility to his albums. Because he speaks from the heart.

    In fact I think he’s always been extremely uncomfortable with fan adoration and critical success. When he was being called the New Dylan and the Spokesman for his generation around 2003-2004-2005, he clearly wasnt buying mansions and in my opinion wasnt taking advantage of groupies and fans either.

  6. to be fair, i met him once after a show several years back, he seemed genuinely nice and polite. so theres that.

  7. Jammy Garcia-esque flourishes on a Conor Oberst record? I just came.

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