The New Classics

April 9, 2009

New Music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Nikorette


Outer South

Song: Nikorette
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Outer South
Label: Merge Records
Conor Oberst has been releasing music (at first on his own) since he was 13 years old. Whether under his own name, with one of his numerous side bands or as the lead member of emo-rock overlords Bright Eyes, Oberst has consistantly flooded fans with material for better or worse. Instead of leaving some things on the cutting room floor, he seemingly just released every single song that he’s ever written. His poignant lyrics and shaky singing voice are his trademarks, and he’s been called the next Bob Dylan countless times through his career. At the same time, Bright Eyes has earned him a pigeonhole as being just for depressed teenagers or kids looking for a clever lyrical away message (or tweet for you web 2.0 cats) to express their petty problems. Anyone who thought that they’d outgrown Oberst’s music will be pleasantly surprised to know that his Mystic Valley Band, now on their second album, portrays a much more grown up and less whiny version of him. But the poignant lyrics and shaky vocals that endeared him to so many are still very much intact. ‘Nikorette’ is a happy, folky indie-country tune with a more polished sound than the majority if Oberst’s past work. A quick example of his well-crafted lyrics:

Will you talk me down if I get upset?
Be the cool washcloth to my fevered head
Because I don’t want to dream if it don’t come true,
I don’t want to dream if it don’t come true.

I’m interested in checking out the rest of this album, as I haven’t kept up with him since 2005’s ok I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning. Bright Eyes grew boring for me personally, but the Mystic Valley Band is a completely different sound. This is a song definitely worthy of at the very least a download, but I’m  a bit skeptical that the rest of the album can keep me just as interested.
Rating: 7.0
Source: Stereogum


1 Comment »

  1. Outer South is an amazing record. Speaking as a 10 year fan of Bright Eyes I am totally biased, but I just saw them play last night and they brought down the house (or baseball park in this case). Read my review here:

    Comment by politux — July 12, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

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