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Bright Eyes

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Omaha, Nebraska, United States (1995 – present)

Bright Eyes is an band consisting mainly of American singer, guitarist, and songwriter Conor Oberst. Bright Eyes also features multi-instrumentalist/producer Mike Mogis, keyboard player Nate Walcott and a rotating lineup of collaborators drawn primarily from Omaha, Nebraska, United States’ indie music scene. Having been deeply influenced early on by singer-songwriters David Dondero and Simon Joyner, Conor Oberst has been recording music since the age of 13. He released his first three albums at the ages of 13, 14, 15, respectively, all under the name “Conor Oberst” and released only on cassettes. He then moved onwards with a band called Commander Venus with whom he released two albums. After the break-up of this band in 1997, Conor’s main focus became Bright Eyes, and in 1998 he released the first Bright Eyes album, A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997(a collection of 20 stockpiled songs) on the independent label Records, which he had co-formed earlier in collaboration with fellow local Omaha musicians.

Saddle Creek also released Letting Off the Happiness in November 1998, a ten-track record that boasted a much more focused and clear sound than the previous album. According to the Saddle Creek press release, it features members of Lullaby For The Working Class, Neutral Milk Hotel, and of Montreal. It was predominantly recorded in the Oberst family basement in Omaha on an analog eight track reel to reel; with some work also done at keyboardist Andy Lemaster’s Athens, GA studio.

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