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Conor Oberst, 'Upside Down Mountain' (May 20th)

Butch Hogan

After a prolific decade in which he wrote records everywhere from a Florida psychic colony to a Mexican village, Bright Eyes leader Oberst recently got married and settled in New York's East Village. Produced by Jonathan Wilson (Jackson Browne), this new solo LP is full of songs about growing up and staying off the road, with Oberst's sweeping folk-rock melodies augmented by Wilson's jammy lead guitar and harmonies from Swedish sisters First Aid Kit. "A lot of the words on this record are about getting older and being at peace, living the real shit," says Oberst, 33. "Eventually, the circus leaves town."

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