I'm a guitarist and a song writer and above all, a band member. And don't get me wrong I think the works Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott do backing up Conor is no joke - not to mention the litany of other past members, contributors and collaborators. They are an amazing bunch of musicians and so, yeah, I suppose for all intents and purposes Bright Eyes is a band but most people just see it as an alias for Conor Oberst himself. Conor Oberst is Bright Eyes. So the thought of a "Conor Oberst solo record" seems a bit odd. Nevertheless he recorded a solo record this past winter in a makeshift studio in Mexico's Valle Místico area alongside the familiar engineer Andy LeMaster.
This record features a "special band" assembled especially for this Mexican vacation —the aptly titled Mystic Valley Band which is essentially a group of unidentified talented friends. The newfangled group will support Oberst when he unveils the new tunes at that Austin City Limits Festival in September.
The self-titled 12-track record will come out August 4 and will be Conor's first proper solo record since 1995's Soundtrack To My Movie. The great Merge Records is doing this one, not Saddle Creek. I guess all that M.Ward is rubbing off on Conor.
Here is the tentative track listing for the new record:
1. "Cape Cañaveral"
4. "Lenders in the Temple"
5. "Danny Callahan"
6. "I Don’t Want to Die (In The Hospital)"
7. "Eagle on a Pole"
9. "NYC – Gone, Gone"
10. "Valle Místico (Ruben's Song)"
11. "Souled Out!!!"
12. "Milk Thistle"