Thursday, 14 May 2009

At Peace With The Mystics

One of the more pleasant surprises this past week has been the arrival of not just new material from one Conor Oberst, but rocking new material at that. Well, he and his Mystic Valley Band cohorts as well if we want to give it the full jam band-esque suffix.

I'll admit to not being a huge Bright Eyes panderer. That's not to say that I don't like the songs released under that monicker, but the level of hysteria for those releases is such that if one doesn't experience uncontrollable bowel movements when a record comes out then the label 'fan' is overstated. Now if we move back to Oberst's songs in Desaparecidos, I'm more inclined to hit that higher bar and call myself a lover. The more critical, rock leanings of his one release from that project have certainly made more impact on me than the rest of the other outings. This all said, whatever he does I of course think the guy has a fantastic voice and an unfathomable ability to pen a great lyric.

So without going into a full review - it's too early in the listening and I'm certain one will come further down the line -
'Outer South' is a very immediate and exciting return to the more ascerbic aspects of Desaparecidos, whilst remaining closer to the indie/folkier style for which the man has become famed in certain circles. There is an upbeat and down home feeling right from the start, with the organs raising out from the sound and adding a more celebratory air. Despite this, the critical nature of the lyrics is retained in places and forms a great counterpoint to the good times evoked by the music. On Roosevelt Room, it's positively scathing.

Although running long with 16 songs clocking in at over 70 minutes, this does allow a lot of room for the various styles and attitudes to flow from what, to me right now, sounds like a very accessible and addictive listen. Time will tell but the signs are pretty bloody good after the first few spins. Gotta love it when that happens.

Official Site / Myspace

Stream the full album at Merge Records here

Buy it at Insound!

MP3: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Roosevelt Room (Live)
Taken from the album 'Outer South' - out now

Now playing: Desaparecidos - $$
via FoxyTunes

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