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.