Conor Oberst’s new album, “Upside Down Mountain,” came out on May 19th. Listen to KTG’s conversation with Conor about the new album and more, including some songs he and Dawes performed in the studio just for this occasion.
Singer-songwriter Conor Oberst revealed the cover art—The Creation of the Bulls by his friend Ian Felice — for his new solo record Upside Down Mountain, which is out now via Nonesuch Records.
Keep reading for more about the album, and you can listen to the interview below as well.
Upside Down Mountain features many other friends of Oberst’s, including producer Jonathan Wilson, engineer Andy LeMaster, bassist Macey Taylor, multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills, and the Swedish sibling folk-rock vocal duo First Aid Kit. What started as exploratory demos with producer-musician Jonathan Wilson at his Fivestar Studios in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, in a home Wilson rents from Oberst, became the first de facto album sessions. Returning to his native Omaha, Nebraska, Oberst kept rolling with the help of frequent collaborator, engineer, and friend Andy LeMaster at his own ARC Studios. Even more tracking followed in Omaha last November and December. Then Oberst and Wilson moved south to Blackbird Studio in Nashville.
“This is a return to an earlier way I wrote,” Oberst says of the songs on Upside Down Mountain,. “It’s more intimate or personal, if you will. Even if all my songs come from the same place, you make different aesthetic decisions along the way. For me, language is a huge part of why I make music. I’m not the greatest guitar player or piano player—I’m not the greatest singer, either—but I feel if I can come up with melodies I like that are fused with poetry I’m proud of, then that’s what I bring to the table. That’s why I’m able to do this.”