Bright Eyes is an American indie rock band from Omaha, Nebraska consisting of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott and various other musicians
. Oberst, amongst others defined Saddle Creek records as well as founded his own independent label Team Love Records. Oberst tends toward introspective, confessional lyrics when writing for Bright Eyes and his other bands, which include Desaparecidos and Monsters of Folk.
One of the first indie bands to gain mainstream success, Bright Eyes has had two singles, "Lua" and "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)," that reached the top of the Billboard charts. Their respective albums, I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
were released simultaneously, and are two of the best received indie albums of the Turn of the Millennium
- A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997 (1998)
- Letting Off the Happiness (1998)
- Fevers and Mirrors (2000)
- Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002)
- A Christmas Album (2002)
- I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (2005)
- Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005)
- Motion Sickness (2005): a live album
- Noise Floor (2006): a B-Side compilation
- Cassadaga (2007)
- The People's Key (2011)
Tropes associated with Bright Eyes include:
- Album Title Drop: I'm Wide Awake It's Morning gets its name from the album's final song, Road to Joy.
- A Storm Is Coming: "Don't Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come" from Lifted.
- Better as Friends: "It's Cool, We Can Still Be Friends." The former couple are still in love, but realize it was better to break up since they ended up hurting each other so much.
- Bilingual Bonus: Some songs contain Spanish lyrics.
- Cover Version: The Digital Ash B-Side "Burn Rubber" is a cover of Simon Joyner, one of Oberst's influences who was later signed to Team Love Records.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: Oberst is not the only official member of Bright Eyes. In a subversion of the I Am the Band tag the media gives Bright Eyes, Oberst often points out that Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott are official members of the band, too.
- Left the Background Music On: "An Attempt To Tip The Scales" segues into a mock-interview via a repeating ambient loop, which continues repeating in the background for several minutes - Finally, Conor Oberst politely asks his interviewer "Can you make that sound stop, please?", and the background music abruptly stops as the conversation continues.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Bowl of Oranges" and "Four Winds".
- Older than They Look: Oberst is now past 30, nothing about him, not his face, hair or even his name doesn't say "kid".
- Protest Song: "When the President Talks to God" is a very thinly-veiled attack on George W. Bush.
- Nonindicative Name: "Oberst" means "Colonel" in German. Nothing could suit the peace-loving Conor less.
- Spoken Word In Music: Each album generally begins with an extract of a recording or interview, to establish the direction.
- Throw It In: The contrived trumpet flub after the line "Now all anyone's listening for are the mistakes" in "False Advertising".