Bright Eyes were supposed to be playing their first comeback show last night in Japan. Thanks to the pandemic that has essentially ground live music to a halt worldwide, that didn’t happen. The good news is that the band’s reunion is progressing nonetheless today with the release of their first new song since 2011’s The People’s Key.
The song is called “Persona Non Grata.” It’s a quavering waltz that works in references to kilts, Bollywood, Halloween in the West Village, Tienanmen Square, and the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel. “And now you come to me, askin’ that,” Conor Oberst sings. “Oh, how can we reconcile?” In a statement accompanying its release, the band explains, “It was hard to decide which song to share first because they are all quite different, but this one seemed as good a place as any to start. And it has bagpipes!”
It does! Hear “Persona Non Grata” below.
And here’s the band’s full statement: