Bright Eyes teased another single from their new album yesterday by tweeting out the coordinates 17°33’29″N 142°00’03”E. This is where you’ll find the Mariana Trench, the deepest oceanic trench on Earth, located about 200 kilometers east of the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The day before, they promised details on that LP “very soon.” Today it has all come to pass: The band has revealed that its first album in nine years is called Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was and will be out almost exactly two months from now. And they’ve shared “Mariana Trench,” its latest single.
When Bright Eyes returned this year with “Persona Non Grata,” they teased a more obvious single was on the way. In my career-spanning interview with Conor Oberst, he said follow-up single “Forced Convalescence” was not the track they were pushing to radio either. “Mariana Trench,” presumably, is that song. It’s huge and cavernous as its title implies, a new-wave-esque spin on the classic Bright Eyes sound with a chorus built to stick and horn stabs designed to pierce. One especially timely line in that chorus: “Look out for the plainclothes.”
“Mariana Trench” arrives with an animated video by Art Camp, who shared this statement:
The production of the video started at the beginning of quarantine and finished as people came back out of their homes and took to the streets together. In 18 different bedrooms across the world, listening to Bright Eyes, keeping each other company, we got the chance to collaborate on a story about embracing and celebrating change. The animation is composed of 2,200 hand-illustrated ink paintings based on original 3D animation and archival footage. We hope it makes you excited to imagine that everything could be new.
01 “Pageturner’s Rag”
02 “Dance And Sing”
03 “Just Once In The World”
04 “Mariana Trench”
05 “One and Done”
06 “Pan and Broom”
07 “Stairwell Song”
08 “Persona Non Grata”
10 “Hot Car In The Sun”
11 “Forced Convalescence”
12 “To Death’s Heart (In Three Parts)”
13 “Calais To Dover”
14 “Comet Song”
Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was is out 8/21 on Dead Oceans. Pre-order it here. Bright Eyes will perform “Mariana Trench” on Colbert tonight.