Conor Oberst Returns to the Valley With “Outer South”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band cut another record.


When veteran indie songwriter Conor Oberst broke ties with his long-standing Bright Eyes moniker last year for a self-titled project – the first since his pre-teens as a lo-fi tapesmith in Omaha – with the Mystic Valley Band, it looked to be little more than a breather. Now, with yet another collaboration on the horizon due May 5th on Merge titled Outer South, Oberst’s newest quintet of collaborators looks to evolved into a full-fledged band. For the most part, Conor Oberst wasRe written first-hand by the front man himself, with backing duties from a few fellow musicians while holed up in Tepoztlan, Mexico, for recording. In fact, the only outsider contribution was a 49-second conch shell blast – apparently, a nightly ritual by one of the landowners of the local villa.

With Outer South, though, songwriting contributions have been plentiful from Mystic Valley members, including Jason Boesel, Nik Freitas and Taylor Hollingsworth, as well as, of course, Oberst himself. Other than that, few details have emerged yet, other than a verification that “Nikorette,” a three-guitar country rock song heard on Conan O’Brien last year, will be included in the track list. Until then, fans will be left to pick what they can from a nine-stop U.S. tour this summer, including an appearance at Coachella and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.


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