Conor Oberst doesn’t like to sit still for too long without making some new music. Over the past number of years, he’s steadily kept his solo work going. And although there doesn’t appear to be a new solo LP coming this year, he’s started up a new cycle of music releases. A week ago, Oberst shared a newly recorded version of a song titled “LAX” which was originally written for a character to sing in the film Juliet, Naked. The new version saw Oberst teaming up with Simone Felice for Amazon’s Produced By series, and featured some backing vocals from Phoebe Bridgers. Today, Oberst has followed that up with two brand new tracks for us to sink into.
“No One Changes” and “The Rockaways” appeared unannounced and fairly unadorned earlier today on Oberst’s Bandcamp page. The two songs recall the somber, sparse solo material from the 2016 album Ruminations. That LP was initially made with Oberst holing himself up at home and recording an album that very much recalled his early work in Bright Eyes. The album was then fleshed out with a full band on last year’s Salutations, which also featured a handful of brand new material. These two new tracks seem to be a standalone release for now.
“No One Changes” is most close to the work we heard on Ruminations, featuring only Conor Oberst’s voice and piano. It’s a downcast, lyrically bleak but beautiful song that is sure to please his devoted fanbase. “The Rockaways” trades out the piano for an acoustic guitar, but remains a fairly sad song itself. Both tracks are currently available to stream right here. On that page you can also pre-order a physical 7″ of the songs, which is due out February 1 2019.