Last year saw a welcome return of the much loved and influential band Bright Eyes; their mid-pandemic summer release Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was brought them an avalanche of critical acclaim and some of the most effusive reviews of their 20+ year career. Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott’s nine year hiatus ended around this time last year when they began unveiling a string of stellar track releases. Today, the celebrated trio are back with another gut punch of a tune.
Bright Eyes take Vic Chesnutt’s devastating “Flirted With You All My Life” and make it their own; piano and languid pedal steel keeping a deceptively pretty, even keel before the screaming kicks in. It’s both a fitting tribute to the beloved Athens, GA singer-songwriter, who died in 2009, and a hauntingly perfect addition to the Bright Eyes oeuvre. We’ve heard Conor rail against the loss of loved ones taken too soon throughout the course of his recording career. This one feels as raw and real as any he’s written himself.
Says Conor, “I had the pleasure of seeing Vic perform many times over the years and from a young age. I can truly say he deeply changed my worldview and what it meant to write a really unique and thought provoking song. One of the greatest ever. Always missed. Here is our humble version of one of his best.”
This recording features the talents of Bright Eyes members Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott as well as Macey Taylor, Jon Theodore and Andy LeMaster.
“Flirted With You All My Life,” originally a physical exclusive, is available for streaming now on Dead Oceans. The “Persona Non Grata b/w Flirted With You All My Life” 7” on transparent orange with opaque red splatter vinyl is available via Secretly Store and Bandcamp.
Watch the band perform for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert (At Home) HERE.