Stream: Bright Eyes, ‘Persona Non Grata’

Bright Eyes (Photo by Shawn Brackbill)

“Strange days indeed,” Bright Eyes wrote in a note to fans this morning, sending “our love and solidarity to everyone out there feeling alone, frightened and isolated.”

Yes, it’s weird timing for the Omaha-bred band of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott to be making a much-anticipated return after almost a decade away, but here they are: Bright Eyes will release a new album this year “no matter what,” they say, although like every other band their tour plans have been scotched by COVID-19 containment measures. 2020 marks the 20-year anniversary of “Fevers and Mirrors” and the 15-year anniversary of both “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning” and “Digital Ash in a Digital Urn,” and fans who might have hoped to hear some of those albums live and can now set their sights on new material.

The new single “Persona Non Grata” will not disappoint. Oberst’s quavering voice and canny lyrical sense maintains its ability to connect, even send chills up the spine. And, as Bright Eyes point out in their message, “It has bagpipes!”

||| Stream: “Persona Non Grata”