Little Conor Oberst, bless his heart. We've watched him grow up right before our eyes, much like the zany girls of The Facts of Life
. Although, in his case, he's gone from writing sensitive stories influenced by mid-American suburbia to sensitive stories influenced by the big city of New York, where he's been residing for the past couple of years. In 2005 the songwriter will release two new Bright Eyes LPs: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
. In the meantime, fans get two teaser EPs, each containing a single from the respective full-lengths and a few non-album tracks. Lua
shows Oberst dabbling in the same croon-folk for which his fans have always embraced him. The title track finds him singing softly about nighttime adventures over nothing but an acoustic guitar, but the gem is the upbeat cover of the Bruces' "I Woke Up with This Song in My Head This Morning." Taking cues from the Postal Service and labelmates the Faint, Take It Easy
foreshadows the latter of the two records as being an intricate glitch-pop effort, all ringy synths and digital percussion. What's apparent on both EPs is that Oberst's songwriting has grown more focused, and that Bright Eyes fans have a lot to look forward to in the coming year.