With tour dates having been continually delayed through the last 18 months, it seems Bright Eyes have found the time to dig back into their history – and today they announce plans for a catalog reissue and ‘companion’ series. Starting with A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997, Letting Off The Happiness and Fevers and Mirrors, Bright Eyes will reissue the albums along with new six-track ‘companion’ EPs, with revised versions of five of the songs – some with guests – and one cover by artists from whom they took inspiration.
The first trio will be released on May 27 through Dead Oceans. More companion versions of their catalogue are to follow, with 54 new recordings of old songs to appear in 2022.
Conor Oberst says: “It’s a meaningful way to connect with the past that doesn’t feel totally nostalgic and self-indulgent. 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.”
Along with today’s announcement, they’ve shared one song from each of the ‘companion’ EPs that will be coming out with the reissues. From A Collection of Songs we’ve got a new version of “Falling Out Of Love at This Volume”; from Letting Off The Happiness we’ve got an updated “Contrast and Compare”, which features Waxahatchee; and from Fevers and Mirrors we have a Phoebe Bridgers augmented version of “Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh”.
Check out all three below (or on streaming platforms) and take a look at the track lists for the Companion EPs beneath.
A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997: A Companion, Letting Off The Happiness: A Companion and Fevers and Mirrors: A Companion will be released on May 27 through Dead Oceans (pre-order/save).
Track lists for the companion EPs (new recordings):
A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997: A Companion
1) “Driving Fast Through A Big City At Night” 2) “Solid Jackson” 3) “A Celebration Upon Completion” 4) “Falling Out of Love At This Volume” 5) “Exaltation On A Cool Kitchen Floor” 6) “Double Joe” (Simon Joyner cover)
Letting Off The Happiness: A Companion
1) “The Difference In The Shades” 2) “The City Has Sex (feat. Waxahatchee)” 3) “Contrast And Compare (feat. Waxahatchee)” 4) “Kathy With A K’s Song (feat. M Ward)” 5) “St. Ides Heaven (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” (Elliott Smith cover) 6) “June On The West Coast (feat. Becky Stark)”
Fevers and Mirrors: A Companion:
1) “Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” 2) “A Scale, A Mirror, And Those Indifferent Clocks (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” 3) “Arienette” 4) “Hypnotist (Song for Daniel H)” (Lullaby For The Working Class cover) 5) “When The Curious Girl Realizes She Is Under Glass (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” 6) “A Spindle, A Darkness, A Fever, And A Necklace (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)”