Bright Eyes' seventh full-length, Cassadaga, which was produced by Mike Mogis and features cameos from Gillian Welch and M. Ward, takes its name from an incorporeal community in Florida. In the opening song, "Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)," a collage of clairvoyants and social commentary on corporate and colonial corruption, one psychic says, "Just because you get the death card it doesn't mean death, dying; it means transformation. It means changing things around and starting something new." Her read of Conor Oberst is spot on. Ever since navigating Commander Venus and helping form Saddle Creek records at the age of 14, the Nebraska singer-songwriter has consistently defied expectations with each release. From lo-fi bedroom tales of brokenheartedness to digital disillusionment and political folk tunes, Bright Eyes has done it all. His latest artistic endeavor is a spiritual cleansing, a personal rejuvenation that incorporates elements of every aspect of his career. He's not the next Dylan, but he is damn impressive. Brooklyn-based space cowboys, Oakley Hall, will open in support of last year's Second Guessing and Gypsum Strings, along with McCarthy Trenching, the primary vehicle of Dan McCarthy, a relatively young folk singer from the Cornhusker state with an old-timey country swing.
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