Omaha’s finest Bright Eyes have announced reissues of their first three albums: A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997 (1998), Letting Off the Happiness (1998) and Fevers and Mirrors (2000). They’re due out on Friday, 27th May.
Each release with be accompanied by a six-track Companion EP made up of new versions of the albums’ original songs. The likes of Waxhatchee, Phoebe Bridgers, M Ward and Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark make guest appearances.
The first three companion songs are out now. There’s ‘Falling Out of Love At This Volume’ (A Collection of Songs); ‘Contrast and Compare’ with Waxahactchee (Letting Off the Happiness); and ‘Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh’ with Phoebe Bridgers (Fevers and Mirrors).
The Companion EPs also include a cover of an artist that inspired the band members at the time of the original album recording sessions. A Collection of Songs has a cover of Simon Joyner’s ‘Double Joe’; Letting Off the Happiness a cover of Elliott Smith’s ‘St Ideas Heaven’; and Fevers and Mirrors a cover of ‘Hypnotist (Song for Daniel H)’ by Lullaby For the Working Class.
Conor Oberst released a statement explaining what motivated him to rejig the songs for this release.
“It’s a meaningful way to connect with the past that doesn’t feel totally nostalgic and self-indulgent,” he said. “We are taking these songs and making them interesting to us all over again. I like that.
“I like a challenge. I like to be forced to do something that’s slightly hard, just to see if we can. My thing was they had to sound different from the originals, we had to mess with them in a substantial way.”