Conor Oberst’s new album Upside Down Mountain is due out in May, and earlier this week, he gave WNYC’s Soundcheck listeners a substantial preview. The Bright Eyes singer stopped by the radio station’s Greene Space on Thursday to perform seven of the 13 tracks on the record, some of them live debuts and some by now at least a little familiar.
In addition to “Hundreds of Ways,” which Oberst shared back in February, he played “Time Forgot,” “Double Life,” Night At Lake Unknown,” Lonley At The Top,” “You Are Your Mother’s Child” and “Common Knowledge.” Oberst recorded Upside Down Mountain, his ninth solo effort, in Nashville and the country influence shines through in the songwriting as well as the slide-glossed arrangements.
In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, Oberst talked about paring down certain elements for the record’s new direction. “I don’t relate to a lot of my earlier songs,” he said. “They were extremely verbose. That might be cathartic when you’re doing it, but it doesn’t necessarily hold up.”
Upside Down Mountain comes on May 20th on Nonesuch. Jonathan Wilson (Dawes, Father John Misty) produced, and Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit bring their harmonies throughout the album. In the meantime, Oberst will release the track “Hundreds of Days” as a limited-edition seven-inch with the outtake “Fast Friends” for Record Store Day on April 19th. He kicks off a world tour on May 8th in North Carolina with Dawes.
“Night At Lake Unknown”
“You Are Your Mother’s Child”
“Lonely At The Top”