Bright Eyes are back with another single from their highly anticipated new album, and this time, they’ve joined forces with Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea and drummer Jon Theadore from Queens of the Stone Age! On “Forced Convalescence,” Conor Oberst discusses an existential crisis. For those of you, myself included, who don’t usually throw the word “convalescence” around, it means a period of recovery. So, a forced convalescence is sort of what we’re all going through right now! With swirling metaphors, a driving beat, and Oberst’s signature, unique voice, this song gives us all that we’ve come to love about Bright Eyes and more.



Oberst’s lyrical talents can describe some of the most mundane things, as well as some of the most confusing and utterly human things in beautiful, interesting ways. Have you been in bed thinking about the uncertainty of the world? Bright Eyes have been too! The first verse describes a position I’m sure we’ve all been in (especially a lot more these days), laying in bed, having a “staring contest with the ceiling and my feet.” The song lyrically explodes into broader descriptions of nature, the world, aging, and pain. Favorite lines include “amazed by the haystack / Needle to oblivion,” and “Catastrophizing my birthday / Turning forty / Ending up like everyone.” The lyrics are delivered along with a powerful choir over the band’s fitting arrangement.

While the upcoming album still doesn’t have a name or release date (though it’s been promised some time this year), singles “Persona Non Grata” and “Forced Convalescence” have held us over and supported us through quarantine. None of us know what will happen in the future, and these extremely human songs couldn’t have come at a better time and serve as a reminder of the things that can help keep us all connected.


Arielle Tindel is a Berklee College of Music student from Cleveland, OH. She will graduate in December with degrees in Music Business Marketing and Songwriting. In her free time, Arielle can be found gardening or playing bass.