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Ruminations

  • 556491

News & Reviews

  • Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record stores, takes place over two RSD Drops on two Saturdays this year, and included among the special releases are: on June 12, Conor Oberst's Ruminations (Expanded Edition), a two-LP remastered edition of his acclaimed 2016 solo album with five bonus tracks; and on July 17, Randy Newman’s Roll with the Punches: The Studio Albums (1979–2017), an eight-LP set of his latest seven studio albums, including Bad Love on vinyl for the first time and Faust demos.

  • Conor Oberst released his Nonesuch Records debut album, Upside Down Mountain, in May 2014. Earlier that spring, he had previewed what was to come with the release of a limited-edition vinyl 7" for Record Store Day, featuring the album track "Hundreds of Ways" b/w the album outtake "Fast Friends." Later that year, for Record Store Day: Black Friday, came another limited-edition vinyl 7" with two non-album tracks recorded during the Upside Down Mountain sessions: "Standing on the Outside Looking In" b/w "Sugar Street." All of those tracks are finally available digitally and can be heard here.

  • About This Album

    In the winter of 2016, Conor Oberst found himself hibernating in his hometown of Omaha after living in New York City for more than a decade. He emerged with the unexpectedly raw, unadorned solo album Ruminations, available October 14, 2016, on Nonesuch Records. "I wasn't expecting to write a record," says Oberst. "I honestly wasn't expecting to do much of anything. Winter in Omaha can have a paralyzing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favor. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record. I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone." 

    Oberst began publicly releasing music in 1994 at the age of 14. Those early recordings, made in Omaha on four-track cassette by Oberst and his friends, were an introduction to the work of a prodigious songwriter whose creative outpouring would soon be widely lauded. Writing and recording prolifically over the next two decades, first with his band Bright Eyes and later under his own name—and at special moments as a member of Desaparecidos and Monsters of Folk—Oberst became known, as the Los Angeles Times said, an artist who "sees the world with fresh and fearless eyes." The Times continued, "He weaves his findings into intimate songs whose melodies are as timeless as a hymnal and whose images are hauntingly poetic....He can command your attention with long narratives that have more words than a pocket dictionary, or stop you cold with a single line."

    In Nebraska last winter, songs that harked back to that earlier era unexpectedly began to take shape. Oberst went to ARC, the studio he built with his Bright Eyes bandmate and longtime friend Mike Mogis, to record that music. With the help of engineer Ben Brodin, he recorded all the songs in the span of 48 hours. The results are almost sketch-like in their sparseness, and they ultimately became the songs that comprise Ruminations. These tracks do not have the multi-layered instrumentation of the most recent Bright Eyes and solo albums: This is Oberst alone with his guitar, piano, and harmonica; the songs connect with some of the rough magic and anxious poetry that first brought him to the attention of the world, while their lyrical complexity and concerns make it obvious they could only have been written in the present.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Conor Oberst, guitar, voice, harmonica, piano

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Recorded February 11 & 12, 2016, at ARC in Omaha, NE
    Engineered by Ben Brodin
    Mixed by Mike Mogis
    Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering

    Art Direction & Design by Gary Burden and Jenice Heo for RTwerk & Co
    Cover Photo by Julia Brokaw
    Booklet cover image by Jenice Heo based on Julia Brokaw photo

    All songs written by Conor Oberst, published by Songs Music Publishing LLC O/B/O Songs MP (BMI), Bedrooms; Bedrooms and Spiders (BMI)

nonesuch's picture
on July 8, 2016 - 12:45pm
Release Date: 
Friday, October 14, 2016 (All day)
DescriptionExcerpt: 

In the winter of 2016, Conor Oberst found himself hibernating in his hometown of Omaha after living in New York City for more than a decade. He emerged with the unexpectedly raw, unadorned solo album Ruminations. Oberst went to ARC, the studio he built with his Bright Eyes bandmate and friend Mike Mogis, and, with the help of engineer Ben Brodin, recorded all the songs within 48 hours. The results are almost sketch-like in their sparseness: Oberst alone with his guitar, piano, and harmonica; the songs connect with some of the rough magic and anxious poetry that first brought him to the attention of the world, while their lyrical complexity and concerns make it obvious they could only have been written in the present.

Description: 

In the winter of 2016, Conor Oberst found himself hibernating in his hometown of Omaha after living in New York City for more than a decade. He emerged with the unexpectedly raw, unadorned solo album Ruminations, available October 14, 2016, on Nonesuch Records. "I wasn't expecting to write a record," says Oberst. "I honestly wasn't expecting to do much of anything. Winter in Omaha can have a paralyzing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favor. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record. I recorded them quick to get them down but then it just felt right to leave them alone." 

Oberst began publicly releasing music in 1994 at the age of 14. Those early recordings, made in Omaha on four-track cassette by Oberst and his friends, were an introduction to the work of a prodigious songwriter whose creative outpouring would soon be widely lauded. Writing and recording prolifically over the next two decades, first with his band Bright Eyes and later under his own name—and at special moments as a member of Desaparecidos and Monsters of Folk—Oberst became known, as the Los Angeles Times said, an artist who "sees the world with fresh and fearless eyes." The Times continued, "He weaves his findings into intimate songs whose melodies are as timeless as a hymnal and whose images are hauntingly poetic....He can command your attention with long narratives that have more words than a pocket dictionary, or stop you cold with a single line."

In Nebraska last winter, songs that harked back to that earlier era unexpectedly began to take shape. Oberst went to ARC, the studio he built with his Bright Eyes bandmate and longtime friend Mike Mogis, to record that music. With the help of engineer Ben Brodin, he recorded all the songs in the span of 48 hours. The results are almost sketch-like in their sparseness, and they ultimately became the songs that comprise Ruminations. These tracks do not have the multi-layered instrumentation of the most recent Bright Eyes and solo albums: This is Oberst alone with his guitar, piano, and harmonica; the songs connect with some of the rough magic and anxious poetry that first brought him to the attention of the world, while their lyrical complexity and concerns make it obvious they could only have been written in the present.

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Recorded February 11 & 12, 2016, at ARC in Omaha, NE
Engineered by Ben Brodin
Mixed by Mike Mogis
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering

Art Direction & Design by Gary Burden and Jenice Heo for RTwerk & Co
Cover Photo by Julia Brokaw
Booklet cover image by Jenice Heo based on Julia Brokaw photo

All songs written by Conor Oberst, published by Songs Music Publishing LLC O/B/O Songs MP (BMI), Bedrooms; Bedrooms and Spiders (BMI)

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

556491

ns_album_releasedate: 
Friday, July 8, 2016 - 11:45
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
LP+MP3
UPC: 
075597944655
Price: 
19.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597944648
Label: 
96/24 HD FLAC
UPC: 
075597944693
Price: 
14.00
Label: 
FLAC
UPC: 
075597944679
Price: 
10.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597944709
Price: 
9.00
Artist Name: 
Conor Oberst
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Conor Oberst, guitar, voice, harmonica, piano

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