It’s always really surprising to hear Conor Oberst’s vocals exist outside of the poignant, emotional bubble he created for himself throughout his years as Bright Eyes. Though it is really easy to associate Oberst with the delicate coos of his most widely recognized track, “First Day Of My Life”, one would be remiss in thinking that soft indie pop is the only idiom in which the songwriter exists. Along with guitarist Denver Dalley, keyboardist Ian McElroy, bassist/vocalist Landon Hedges, and drummer Matt Baum, the singer is able to channel his inner punk with Desaparecidos and sing freely about political morasses or any kind of idiocy that has truly pissed him off.
And being pissed off is way better when someone else is as angry about things as you. The raucous “Te Amo Camilo Vallejo” is a love song dedicated to a Chilean politician who has received a lot of recognition as a rational voice for the country’s Communist Youth and arefreshing non-male member of their political system. After sampling one of her impassioned speeches, Oberst sings (read: shouts) earnestly, “Oh Camila, you put a fire in my heart!” This is Oberst and the rest of his decade-old rock group proudly wearing their political opinions on their sleeves, providing some much needed protest rock during a time when it is sorely needed from all genres. Going to be rocking out to this until I can get my hands on the group’s forthcoming, charged album Payola, which drops June 23 via Epitaph.