Bright Eyes, Neva Dinova Collaborate On EP
When you start finishing each other's sentences, you know it's meant to be. For Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Neva Dinova's vocalist/guitarist Jake Bellows who recently collaborated on a six-song split CD/10-inch, which will be available on Crank! January 20 it was love at first sight.
"I think it was 1996 when we met for the first time," Bellows was quoted as saying in a recent press release. "We played a show with Commander Venus [Oberst's former band] and I forgot the words to one of our songs. Conor was in the audience and hollered out the next line of the song I couldn't believe that someone in town knew our music."
Consisting of all new tracks, the upcoming release features three Neva Dinova songs, with guitar and backup vocal contributions from Oberst, and three Bright Eyes songs, with additional instrumentation and backup singing from brooding Radiohead-inspired rockers Neva Dinova.
"This was our first time collaborating with anyone and we wanted to see if we could make some music with our friends," Bellows explained in the press release. "We think Conor is a great songwriter and we were honored to work with him. Also, we had a shit-ton of fun."
An Omaha, Neb. native, Oberst began writing songs at the age of 14 in 1994 with his then band Commander Venus, which broke up when his focus turned to his solo project Bright Eyes a few years later. Garnering attention for sounding shockingly ahead of his time, Oberst was lauded as a prodigious songwriter when he released his first two gut-wrenching albums A Collection of Songs and Letting Off the Happiness on his own Saddle Creek label in 1998. He has since released 2000's Fever and Mirrors and Wichita, 2002's There Is No Beginning to the Story and Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground.
Oberst's popularity helped launch Saddle Creek bands, such as Cursive, The Faint and Rilo Kiley, into the national spotlight, shining it down on the Midwest as the new breeding ground for immensely touching, emotionally-driven music, sometimes dubbed "emo."
Neva Dinova bassist Heath Koontz, guitarists Mike Kratky and Tim Haes, drummer Bo Anderson and Bellows are also from Omaha. The at once haunting and dreamlike quintet formed in 1992 but did not solidify its current lineup until 1998. The band released a self-titled debut on Crank! Records in September 2002. Jenny Tatone [Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2003]