Conor Oberst spent this past winter in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where he ended up recording an album full of acoustic tracks titled Ruminations that arrives Oct. 14, he announced Wednesday.
“I wasn’t expecting to write a record,” he said in a statement. “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 has previously sung about his complicated relationship with Omaha in songs like Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band’s “One of My Kind” (“I can’t live in this city / But I’ll probably die here”) and Desaparecidos’ “Greater Omaha” (“All those golden fields / Lovely empty space / They’re building drug stores now”). He recorded Ruminations at ARC, the studio he built with Bright Eyes’ bandmate Mike Mogis, in a span of 48 hours.
In addition to Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band and Desparecidos, Oberst’s best known for fronting Bright Eyes and being a part of supergroup Monsters of Folk along with M. Ward, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, and Mogis.
Ruminations will mark his first solo album since releasing Upside Down Mountain in 2014. More recently, he reunited with punk band Desparecidos to put out 2015’s Payola.
See the new album’s full tracklist, including songs like “A Little Uncanny” and “You All Loved Him Once” that he’s recently been performing at live shows, below, along with his upcoming tour dates.
RUMINATIONS TRACK LIST
2. “Barbary Coast (Later)”
3. “Gossamer Thin”
4. “Counting Sheep”
5. “Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch)”
6. “The Rain Follows the Plow”
7. “A Little Uncanny”
8. “Next of Kin”
9. “You All Loved Him Once”
10. “Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out”
August 18 – Grand Island, NE @ 309 N Pine Street
August 20 – Lyons, CO @ Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
September 28 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theatre
October 1 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
October 2 – Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
October 3 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
October 5 – Santa Fe, NM @ The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing Company
October 7 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
October 8 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival
November 6 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium *
November 17 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall *
November 23 – New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall *
November 26 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall (SOLD OUT) *
November 27 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall (SOLD OUT) *
December 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church *
December 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church (SOLD OUT) *
Miwi La Lupa supporting 9/28 & 10/1
Anna McClellan supporting 9/28
Jim James supporting 10/1
Pearl Charles supporting 10/2-10/7
Simon Joyner supporting 11/23