Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes is a troubled soul. For anyone not already acquainted with Oberst, this is the second (and third, as it's a double A side) release from the more experimental and adventurous of two simultaneously released albums Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. Releasing two albums on the same day is a bold move, and anyone who fell for the easy-folk charm of I'm Wide Awake It's Morning will soon realise that the angular, effects-ridden guitars (courtesy of Yeah Yeah Yeah Nick Zinner) and drum machine soundscapes are a mile away from the gentle acoustic rambling that is the Bright Eyes trademark.
But rest assured, the content remains constant with Conor. Both tracks are laden with angst, characterisations of the troubles and strife of American youth ("You think about yourself too much / And you ruin who you love" from Gold Mine Gutted) and life after death ("There is nothing as lucky, as easy, as free" from Easy Lucky Free). Both tracks shuffle and swell with atmospherics, brought to a point by Oberst's fragile vocals, which turn from venomous tirade to the verge of tears on every chord change.
These two tracks are not the best Oberst has produced, they don't even stand out as potential singles from the album that they come from. They are, however, typical nuggets of inventive nu-folk from one of the most talented singer-songwriters of his generation.