Bright Eyes Announce Third Wave of Companion Releases

Released June 16 via Dead Oceans: Cassadaga: A Companion, The People’s Key: A Companion, and Noise Floor (Rarities 1998-2005): A Companion.

By: May. 09, 2023
Bright Eyes Announce Third Wave of Companion Releases
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Bright Eyes have announced the third wave of releases as part of their ongoing Companion project. The project, announced last March, sees the band rereleasing their entire catalog, each album accompanied by new recordings. Released June 16 via Dead Oceans: Cassadaga: A Companion, The People's Key: A Companion, and Noise Floor (Rarities 1998-2005): A Companion.

This new wave comes with artist contributions from Johanna and Klara Söderberg of First Aid Kit ("JeJune Stars," "Coatcheck Dream Song," "Wrecking Ball"), Gillian Welch ("Napolean's Hat") and Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff ("Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)," "Firewall," 'When You Were Mine").

The announcement comes with the release of three new Companion series recordings: "Middleman" (Cassadaga), "When You Were Mine," (The People's Key), "Blue Angels Air Show" (Noise Floor).

Of the project, Oberst says, "We are really excited about the final installment of our companion EPs. It's been an interesting journey revisiting and reimagining all of these old songs. 54 songs total seems ridiculous now looking back, but I'm glad we did it. This new batch includes great contributions from Alynda Segarra (Hurray For The Riff Raff), Johanna and Klara Söderberg (First Aid Kit), and an amazing cast of other fantastic musicians that brought these songs into the present tense. I hope all of the fun and neo-nostalgia we experienced recording these comes through to the listeners."

Bright Eyes re-issued all nine of their studio albums as a Companion series with additional recordings created together at their ARC Studios in Omaha. However, this wouldn't be a Bright Eyes project if a moment devoted to appreciating the past weren't turned into an opportunity to connect with the future.

That's where the nine companion EPs come in. Or as Oberst puts it, "the supplemental reading" for the primary reissues: One six-track EP per reissued album, each featuring five reworked songs from that album. "My thing was they had to sound different from the originals, we had to mess with them in a substantial way." Plus one cover that felt "of the era" in which that particular albums was made - a song that meant something to the band at the time.

To help the EPs come alive in the fullest way, Bright Eyes called in lots of old friends, like Bridgers, M. Ward, and Welch and Rawlings, and the Söderberg sisters as well as new ones like Segarra and Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee. The band also covers tracks from Elliot Smith, Simon Joyner, Lullaby for the Working Class, Azure Ray, Townes Van Zandt, The Faint, Prince and Gillian Welch.

Their spring tour kicks off in Milwaukee tomorrow, May 10th, before stopping at more iconic venues; First Ave in Minneapolis, White Oak Music Hall in Houston as well as the brand new Salt Shed in Chicago. Maya Hawke, Cursive, Neva Dinova, Good Looks and Tim Kinsella & Jenny Pulse will support on select dates (full routing below).

Bright Eyes began in 1995 as a recording moniker for a then 15-year old Conor Oberst's work with producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis. Mogis and composer/ arranger/ multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Walcott became fully fledged members in 2006.

Over the course of 23 years the music's impact and influence has been significant; Bright Eyes' songs have been covered by dozens of artists, including Lorde, The Killers, Mac Miller, Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch, Phoebe Bridgers, Snow Patrol, Jason Mraz and beabadoobee.

​​For a band that's often been perceived as an outlier, the depth, breadth, and impact of the Bright Eyes canon is remarkable. Over the last two-plus decades, as Bright Eyes has released one after another time capsule LP's - urgent dispatches from transcendent, fleeting eras of our collective lives - they've also simultaneously been assembling a robust, mature, narratively cohesive discography.


May 10 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater

May 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *SOLD OUT*

May 12 - Chicago, IL - Salt Shed *SOLD OUT*

May 13 - Columbia, MO - Rose Park

May 14 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom*

May 15 - Little Rock, AK - The Hall

May 17 - San Antonio, TX - Aztec Theater

May 18 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall

May 21 - Guadalajara, MX - Corona Capital Guadalajara

*with Cursive

Photo Credit: Autumn de Wilde


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