It may be a pretty dreary moment in time for most folks, but we can take delight in this piece of good news: Bright Eyes are back—and they’re releasing a new album this year, “no matter what.”
The indie-folk pioneers today (Tuesday, March 24) shared their first new material since 2011 in the form of the bagpipe-fueled “Persona Non Grata,” which you can listen to below, following a Twitter tease on Monday. The song and visualizer are accompanied by a hopeful statement from the band (they confirmed the new record is en route), which you can read below:
This all comes after Bright Eyes celebrated the 15th anniversary of their seminal album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning in January and announced a world tour (which of course has now been postponed). Their album Fevers And Mirrors also celebrates an anniversary—20—in May. Bright Eyes’ most recent album, The People’s Key, was released in 2011. Bright Eyes are also newly signed to indie powerhouse label Dead Oceans, who released frontman Conor Oberst’s 2019 joint project with Phoebe Bridgers, Better Oblivion Community Center, for future releases.
Conor Oberst has a way of always sticking to his guns while simultaneously folding in interesting new sonic elements whenever he gets the chance. As for “Persona Non Grata,” a hearty indie-folk song that runs on keys and steady drums, the bagpipes are the most unexpected surprise—but a nice one nonetheless. The pipes give the song an anthemic feel as Oberst spits his familiarly sad and smart verses. It’s an expectedly wonderful return from a group who rarely trip.
Again, you can listen to “Persona Non Grata” below. Keep scrolling for the single art.
Read: Why Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning Still Matters
“Persona Non Grata” Single Art: