Conor Oberst hasn't retired the Bright Eyes name. Yet.
He will make one more album under that name with Omaha's Saddle Creek Records. Release is planned for fall 2010.
“He's going to record stuff over the winter and in the spring,” said Robb Nansel, Saddle Creek president.
The 29-year-old Oberst told Rolling Stone recently that he would come back with another Bright Eyes record, the same thing Saddle Creek executives told The World-Herald in 2008. But with so many other projects taking up his time, no one had known when that might happen.
And since he has released his last two efforts under his own name through Merge Records out of North Carolina, industry observers and music fans wondered if he had severed his ties with Saddle Creek. Now Omaha's indie rock golden boy, Oberst started his career as Bright Eyes with Saddle Creek as a student at Creighton Prep.
In September, he will join indie rocker M. Ward, Bright Eyes band member Mike Mogis and Jim James of My Morning Jacket to release an album as Monsters of Folk, this time with Shangri-La Music out of California.
The next Saddle Creek album will be the last hurrah for Bright Eyes. In Rolling Stone, Oberst said he'd be retiring the name, and that's also what he has told Nansel.
“My guess, based on what he's expressed to me, is that there will be one more Bright Eyes record and that will probably be it,” Nansel said. “I think that's his line of thinking at this point — closing the chapter on that moniker. I think he feels like Bright Eyes has a certain association, for better or worse. I think he's trying to distance himself a little bit from what that means to people.”
Nansel said he couldn't comment on whether Oberst would record again with Saddle Creek. Attempts to reach Oberst through his publicist were not successful.
That's not the only news from the label. It has been busy in the last year, releasing nine albums as well as adding six new artists to its roster.
Here are the details:
- The Saddle Creek roster expanded last week to include Old Canes, a Lawrence, Kan., based folk rock group. The band is fronted by Chris Crisci of Appleseed Cast, another Lawrence indie group, and includes a rotating cast of musicians. The band will release its second album, “Feral Harmonic,” with Saddle Creek on Oct. 20.
- UUVVWWZ and Rural Alberta Advantage are recent additions for the label, both re-releasing albums with the Creek in July. UUVVWWZ (that's “double-u, double-v, double-w, z”) is the first band the label has signed from Lincoln. Rural Alberta Advantage is another in a line of bands from Canada signed to Saddle Creek over the past few years (after Tokyo Police Club, Sebastien Grainger and Land of Talk).
- Orenda Fink will release “Ask The Night” on Oct. 6. Fink has been busy recently, releasing an album as part of the duo O+S with the Scalpelist, better known as Cedric LeMoyne, bassist of indie band Remy Zero.
- Maria Taylor left the label this year. Taylor released “Ladyluck” with Nettwerk Music Group instead of Saddle Creek. For years previously, Nettwerk worked as Taylor's management.
- Taylor isn't completely absent from the label. She recently teamed with Orenda Fink to go on tour and record a new Azure Ray record for Saddle Creek.
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