Bright Eyes – “motionSickness” b/w “Soon You Will Be Leaving Your Man”

Bright Eyes
"motionSickness" b/w "Soon You Will Be Leaving Your Man"

Conor Oberst, singer and songwriter of Bright Eyes, is proving time and again that he is writing the most powerful and intricate songs today. Following up his amazing full-length on Saddle Creek, Bright Eyes has two songs here, one featuring fellow Omaha native Tim Kasher of the band Cursive. That is a pairing that’s always been meant to be, but, then, how could you ever go wrong with Bright Eyes?
“motionSickness” may be one of the prettiest and yet saddest Bright Eyes song that I’ve heard. Combining keyboard, acoustic, electric, and pedal steel guitar with clarinet and backing vocals, this song has a lot more depth than many of Bright Eyes’ work, and it really adds a lot to this song. It’s quiet and soft and, as you would expect from Oberst, heartfelt. He sings, in his trademark warble, “Ok, maybe there is a woman somewhere who’s still thinking of me or a girl with coal black hair who’s haunted in her dreams. But what they’ve seen, well, it wasn’t me. It was just some lie that they slept beside. I kept this from them but I can’t keep this from you.”
“Soon You Will Be Leaving Your Man,” unlike the A-side, is less orchestrated and feels more the work of Oberst and Kasher. In fact, the song was recorded in Kasher’s bedroom. Despite the lack of added instrumentation, it has a lighter and more experimental feel for Bright Eyes. Beneath the traditional acoustic guitar and vocals is some electric guitar. And Oberst’s vocals are less warbling, more intimate. And I believe that’s Kasher singing backup vocals. It’s surprising how well his vocals mesh with Oberst’s. This song is not much faster, and, perhaps because of its simpler production, it takes on a more personal feel, which works well for Oberst’s style.
I personally enjoy the B-side of this release more, perhaps because of its more intimate feel, perhaps because Kasher adds his own flare to the song. But both songs are personal and passionate works, intricate and powerful in a way only a Bright Eyes song can be. With every release, Oberst is coming even more into his own as a singer and songwriter.