Back on a prolific tear as a solo artist, after several years of various collaborations and band reunions, renowned indie/folk singer-songwriter Conor Oberst is set to return to Nashville for the fourth time in just as many years tonight, Oct. 13, to play Marathon Music Works with Tim Kasher (Cursive, The Good Life) and Frances Quinlan (Hop Along). After releasing his most stripped-down and intimate effort in years last fall, and supporting it with a similarly-strucutred tour, Oberst is back with a new LP, Salutations, and full band setup for his latest run, marking his smallest Music City stop as a solo artist in years. The lineup is fantastic from top to bottom, so we urge you to grab tickets here while they last! Read on for more about the lineup and enter to win below!
Though he will perhaps always be best known for his work with indie rock/folk project Bright Eyes, a moniker he seemingly retired six years ago, eclectic singer-songwriter Conor Oberst has been doubling down on a proper solo career for nearly a decade, releasing full-lengths both under his own name and with the help of former semi-permanent backing players the Mystic Valley Band. In recent years, Oberst has passed through town both as a solo artist, and with his reunited post-hardcore group Desaparecidos (the farthest cry from Bright Eyes of Oberst’s many projects), and it was on tour with the latter that Conor was forced to abruptly cancel a string of shows for a variety of health complications in late 2015, leading to the discovery of a brain cyst, and forcing the singer to retire to his home of Omaha to recover. It was there, over two wintery days, that Oberst recorded last year’s Ruminations, which marks an emotional, vulnerable, dark, and sad portrait of an artist confronting his demons in the thick of a Nebraska winter. Featuring only Conor himself, stripped down on guitar, piano, and harmonica, the LP marks Oberst’s most intimate and barebones effort in years, and with its urgency and raw honesty, is a callback to Bright Eyes’ earliest lo-fi efforts. Mirroring another move from the Bright Eyes days, a willingness to flex musical duality and explore different sounds on back to back releases, Conor revisited Ruminations‘ ten tracks, and expanded on them with seven more, in fleshed-out full band form earlier this year with eighth album Salutations, an inspired return to form. After an intimate, stripped down show last year at The Ryman, we’re eager to see Oberst back to full band format, and in the smallest room he’s played in town in a few years, it’s sure to be an extra special show.
Best known for fronting legendary emo/indie/post-hardcore group Cursive and folky indie outfit The Good Life, both of which are still active, Omaha native turned Angeleno Tim Kasher has been releasing albums under his own name as well since 2010, exploring genre-bending, conceptual, and cinematic soundscapes with his pop accessible indie rock. Kasher’s lastest and third LP, No Resolution, arrived earlier this month through 15 Passenger, a new label he runs with other members of Cursive. Already the subject of critical acclaim, Tim’s new effort is especially story-driven and cinematic, and will serve as the soundtrack for his upcoming directorial debut of the same name, which he also wrote, due out soon.
Best known for fronting Philadelphia’s Hop Along, who pull from indie rock, folk, grunge, punk, and emo, much like Oberst and Kasher’s eclectic punk and folk orbiting backgrounds, Frances Quinlan feels like a uniquely well-suited pick to open this show. Hop Along began as an acoustic outlet for Quinlan, before morphing into a critically-acclaimed full band, their most recent and third LP, Painted Shut, one of the best albums of 2015, so while it doesn’t appear that Frances has any solo releases on the horizon, hearing her strip down her band’s material solo will be a great throwback and a unique treat.
Conor Oberst, Tim Kasher, and Frances Quinlan will perform tonight, Oct. 13 at Marathon Music Works. The show is all ages, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $30.