Bright Eyes is an indie rock band that is primarily the vehicle of singer/songwriter/guitarist Conor Oberst.
The first incarnation of Bright Eyes appeared in 1998, following the demise of Oberst's previous band Commander Venus. The debut effort was an album entitled A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997. The album was a pastiche of various styles and instrumentations, including very minimal acoustic guitar backed tracks, full band arrangements and forays into techno/synth soundscapes.
The next Bright Eyes release was Letting Off the Happiness, which had a more consistent sound, but was still something of a bedroom boutique project with a lot of home recording done on analog equipment. Oberst had a number of collaborators on the record including members of the bands: Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal, and Tilly and the Wall. This album also was significant for being the first time Oberst worked with producer and future Bright Eyes member Mike Mogis.
Nebraska native Oberst is a prolific songwriter and has been engaged in a number of projects with a revolving cast of characters recording and performing under several band monikers, including Desaparecidos, the Mystic Valley Band, and the supergroup Monsters of Folk. He also co-founded the record label Saddle Creek for which he records.
The 2002 Bright Eyes release Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground was a breakthrough critical and commercial success for the band.
Two Bright Eyes singles, "Lua" and "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)," reached numbers one and two on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in November 2004. The track "First Day of My Life" crossed over to the world of main stream pop to such an extent that it was used in a television ad.
Bright Eyes has a nine album discography. Their most recent release is The People's Key from 2011. They have shared stages with such superstars as Neil Young, R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen. The current line-up of the band is Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott.
In concert the core members of Bright Eyes are often augmented by various other musicians. Oberst's impassioned, quivery vocal delivery is key to making the material, that can run the gamut from rock to folk style protest songs with any any number of other side trips, come alive.