Saddle Creek

Bright Eyes ‎– Cassadaga


Saddle Creek

Bright Eyes ‎– Cassadaga


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Once tagged 'rock's boy genius' by the music press, Conor Oberst turns 27 on February 15th and even without that in mind it's hard to listen to Cassadaga without hearing a newfound sophistication to the Bright Eyes sound. Producer, multi-instrumentalist and permanent band member Mike Mogis has crafted a swirling, euphonious record, at times bursting with bombastic confidence and country swagger, and at others loose-limbed and mesmeric. Trumpet and piano player Nate Walcott, a Bright Eyes player since 2003 and now the third permanent member, is responsible for the cinematic string arrangements. 

Other than a handful of live appearances and the release of a collection of B-sides & rarities, Bright Eyes kept mostly out of sight in 2006 after the busy 2005 which saw the simultaneous release of the sister albums Digital Ash In A Digital Urn and I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. Should you have looked for them you'd have found them tucked away in various studios around the country. Recording for the first time outside of the Lincoln, NE studio belonging to Mogis, the Bright Eyes cast of players were busy in studios  in Portland, OR, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. The result is the band's most confident work so far, an album so full of soaring strings and female harmonies that it feels almost buoyant in comparison to previous releases. While many latched onto the  smattering of political commentary in 2005's I'm Wide Awake..., Cassadaga is less blunt in its depiction of youthful exasperation in the Bush era. References to Hurricane Katrina, holy wars and polar ice-caps may crop up, but they're buried  deep amongst the ruminations on life, love, history, death and the afterlife.

If I’m Wide Awake... was 'the New York City album', then Cassadaga is 'the America album', in which Oberst diaries his travels around the country and articulates his sense of history in the landscape. In first single 'Four Winds' he is 'off to old Dakota where genocide sleeps/in the Black Hills, the Badlands, the calloused East/I buried my ballast, I made my peace.' Cassadaga itself crops up in the same song. The town, a community  for psychics in central Florida, is visited in order to 'commune with the dead'. This wandering spirit is crystalized in 'I Must Belong Somewhere' a song which was already a staple of live shows by the end of the 2005. 'Hot Knives' is particularly spirited, bringing to  mind the true energy of a Bright Eyes show. Likewise, 'Soul Singer In A Session Band' - a rousing paean to an oxymoronic profession - enlists all of the elements which make the  Bright Eyes live band such a euphoric experience. 'Make A Plan To Plan To Love Me' is Bright Eyes at their most playful; a straight-up love long, replete with girl group vocals and Burt Bacharach strings. Oberst, the fumbling guitarist whose impassioned prose  tumbles out under stark stage spotlights, is still recognizable in every track, but the songs are rich with elaborate production, cinema-sized orchestration and, at times, sprawling,  almost psychedelic, atmospherics.   

The line up of Bright Eyes players includes Andy Lemaster (Now It's Overhead), Ben Kweller, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Janet Weiss (ex-Sleater Kinney), Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley), John McEntire (Tortoise) M.Ward, Maria Taylor and Rachael Yamagata. – Press Release

“With arguably the act’s most beautifully crafted album opener, Cassadaga marked a turn toward the mystical. Perhaps it was the country and folk influences that imbued earlier releases with a neutral Americana or even Christian tone. Whatever the case, Cassadaga maintains its “American” connection but follows different threads in the quilt. Named after a spiritualist community in Florida, the album references a recovery on a beach in California, tints its violin with folk technique, and stirs a melting pot of influences from coast to coast—an experience of transience that effectively pulls Bright Eyes out of the Midwest and into something bigger.” – Under The Radar

About Bright Eyes:

Bright Eyes is an American indie rock band founded by singer-songwriter and guitarist Conor Oberst. It consists of Oberst, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike Mogis, trumpet and piano player Nate Walcott, and a rotating lineup of collaborators drawn primarily from Omaha's indie music scene.

Bright Eyes is signed to Saddle Creek Records, a Nebraska-based label founded by Conor Oberst's brother Justin Oberst and Bright Eyes member Mike Mogis, now distributed by Sony Corporation. – Wiki

Item description:


Bright Eyes ‎




Saddle Creek


2 × Vinyl, LP, Album



Release Date:





Country Rock, Indie Rock

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