Bright Eyes : Shell Games
Conor returns to Bright Eyes after noodling around with The Mystic Valley Band for several years, and he’s full of depressed enthusiasm, or enthusiastic depression. There are a few gorgeous things going on here – his quavering voice; the charging, Arcade Fire-style swell; the unapologetic synth accents – but his lyrics, as always, are at the top of the list. Agitated and reflective, he sings about fireworks and vanity, shooting stars and swaying palm trees, and a heavy love that he can’t move alone. Beautiful, in a pulse-quickening way.