Few artists have been as musically active as Omaha native Conor Oberst. The Bright Eyes frontman got his start writing and recording music at the tender age of 12. Shortly after being coaxed to perform onstage, Oberst went home and, using his dad’s four-track recorder, wrote and recorded nine songs. He and his brother released the songs on cassette from their own Lumberjack Records, which would go on to become Saddle Creek Records. Since then, Oberst has played just about every instrument in a wide array of bands. His most notable outfit, Bright Eyes, began releasing powerful, sometimes noisy folk songs in 1998 and the critical acclaim quickly began to accumulate. Bright Eyes’ music focused on personal issues, often noted for discussing heartbreak and depression. Oberst also formed Desparecidos in 2001 which featured a much heavier sound and lyrics that explored larger social and political issues. He also led Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. Oberst, along with M. Ward, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and former Bright Eyes member Mike Mogis, formed the Monsters of Folk in 2009. He now releases music under his own name.
- Selected Discography: ‘Wide Awake, It’s Morning’ (2005), ‘Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground’ (2002), ‘Conor Oberst’ (2008)
- Further Reading: Bright Eyes – Rock Acts that Embraced Electronic Music, 5 Great Lyrics About God, 10 Best Albums From 2002