Indie rock favorite Bright Eyes joined forces with emOmaha neighbors Neva Dinova in 2004 to release a collaborative split EP. Released on Crank! Records, the EP of folk/indie awesomeness features the sleepy mellow vocals of Neva Dinova’s Jake Bellows and the energetic emotional droning of Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst. With a re-release of the EP with four new songs, we are left with the burning question: Why not simply release another EP? The reissue, out on Saddle Creek Records, contains two new songs from each artist and has a very classic folk rock/contemporary indie feel.
The newest Bright Eyes material since Oberst took a break to work on Mystic Valley Band material and the Monsters Of Folk project, he really goes back to the old school Bright Eyes style his fans know and love. The first of his new tracks, “Happy Accident,” has catchy melodies embellished with a glockenspiel and a grungy distorted guitar solo. It shows off Oberst’s ability to play with many instruments that give songs a little extra something. The mellowness of “I Know You” is reminiscent of his 2005 album I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning. The song is pretty, but lacks the energy of “Happy Accident.”
As for Neva Dinova’s contributions, “Rollerskating” starts off with a weird sample and goes into a sleepy track crooned over by Bellows. It counters the more energetic music spiced up with some synth and a guitar lead reminiscent of something you would hear on a Cure song. “Someone’s Love,” the third track, has the same type of feel to it. Brightened up with some higher harmonies, the stand out part of the song are the lyrics, “Just want someone’s love to take you down.” The song is piano-driven and is Bellows’ standout track on the entire album.
Was it necessary for complete reissue? There’s no real way to say but the new tracks add to the EP and make it seem more complete now that it is a full-length album. What’s for certain is that new Bright Eyes is wanted from Oberst.