Hear Conor Oberst’s Sweetly Claustrophobic ‘Night at Lake Unknown’
Despite Desaparacidos distractions, Saddle Creek godhead returns to his folk roots
Conor Oberst has always been an excellent multi-tasker, stepping out from under the Bright Eyes umbrella with branched-off bands of various genres. His Saddle Creek post hardcore outfit Desaparacidos reunited last year for live dates and three new songs, “Anonymous,” “MariKKKopa” and “Backsell.” Oberst is also one quarter of Monsters of Folk, with Jim James, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis, who according to James’ Reddit AMA, have recorded five new songs and are shopping a screenplay. All this aside, Oberst has been touring solo as of late and test-driving new material on the road.
The latest is the quietly glowing “Night at Lake Unknown,” which hews closer to the Bright Eyes godhead’s 2005 plugged-in folk LP I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning than to its sister album Digital Ash in a Digital Urn andthe experimental, paranormal albums that followed (Cassadaga, The People’s Key). But after all this time in the spotlight, Oberst is still asphyxiated by the fame. Over simple acoustic guitar and a sweetly ringing vibraphone, he sings, “Went on the hunt for fame and fortune / Picked up the trail just fine / Everywhere I go the doors fly open / But I want out once I’m inside.”
As TwentyFourBit notes, the song debuted last December at Toronto’s Massey Hall, and Oberst played it as recently as last week in Stockholm. Enjoy it below.
Conor Oberst “Night at Lake Unknown” live @ Toronto’s Massey Hall, December 8, 2012