Conor Oberst struck out for New York more than a decade ago, when Bright Eyes, the self-excoriating outfit that he founded, first blew up. But to make his new album Ruminations, Oberst returned to his Omaha hometown and recorded some intense, spare music, building songs around guitar and piano and his inimitably strained vocal warble. Spare, intense, personal songs are the reason the world fell in love with Bright Eyes in the first place, so this seems like the right idea. And while we haven’t posted any of those songs in advance, and even though the album itself isn’t out for a couple of weeks, we get to hear the entire thing right now. Stream it below, via NPR.
Ruminations is out 10/14 on Nonesuch.