It is wild to think that Conor Oberst’s masterwork turns fifteen years old this week; it feels like just recently that I was enjoying the music video for this albums best song “Four Winds”: Conor and the band play the song – with its overtly anti-religious lyric; ‘The Bible’s blind, the Torah’s deaf, the Qu’ran is mute / If you burned them all together you’d get close to the truth,’ he sings as the second verse starts – in front of a crowd of bible-belt Americans who get increasingly angry, throwing rubbish on to the stage while they finish the song.
The video is a testament to how self-aware Oberst is; his music is punctuated by moments of real emotional truth (the opposite of Rex Orange County from yesterday). And it displays the disparity implicit in Bright Eyes’ music: the group are ostensibly a bluegrass-tinged folk band, but lyrically explore subject matter that their peers don’t tend to go near.
Cassadaga is named for a town in Florida which is (or was) commonly referred to as the ‘psychic capital of the world’, so no wonder the album is unapologetically spiritual.
My favourite track here is “No One Would Riot For Less”, an acoustic-driven ballad that explores destiny. Cassadaga is a beautiful album.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.