After much anxious waiting and wondering if their favorite band was ever going to return after 2007’s gorgeous Cassadaga, Bright Eyes fans have finally been relieved of their epic anticipation. Released this past February (on frontman Conor Oberst’s birthday, Feb. 15, to be exact, don’t ask me how I know that), The People’s Key represents a shift away from the folksy Americana that has occupied Oberst’s attention for the last few years (during which he recorded mainly as Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band), and back toward his noisy, emotional roots. “We very much wanted it to be rocking, and, for lack of a better term, contemporary or modern,” Oberst told NME of the album back in December. He wasn’t lying!
“Jejune” means dull or uninspired, but the “Jejune Stars” video, directed by Lance Acord, is anything but. It begins with a big bang as fiery, old-fashioned wire signs highlight single words and phrases such as “passage of time” and “kissed.” Brooding is back! And I’m happy to report that Conor is looking quite heartthrobby once again, having ditched his weird long hair (sorry) and returned to his classic, slanty, emo cut. (I LIVE for that hair.) Simultaneously a hard-edged pop song and a sublimely catchy rock track, the song recalls “Light Pollution” from Bright Eyes’ seminal 2005 album Digital Ash In A Digital Urn in all the best possible ways. Nobody can sell a weird, introspective lyric like “the wheel of becoming erases the physical mind” like Conor can. But enough effusive praise! Watch the video for “Jejune Stars” below and marvel at Bright Eyes’ continued poetic justice.