Fall In Love With Conor Oberst All Over Again With The B-Side “Fast Friends”


Record Store Day was this past weekend, and Bright Eyes’ mastermind Conor Oberst was behind one of the most sought after 7″ releases. I managed to snag a copy, but only hitting up a second store because my vinyl loving heart felt there was a hole that needed to be filled even though I had already spent $89. It was worth it, however, because the song this post centers around is now a part of my personal collection.

That blurb wasn’t meant to brag or boast, though it may read that way. I’m simply trying to find the best way to establish how excited I am to share with you the b-side “Fast Friends,” which found its way online thanks to a dedicated fan who happened to rip the track’s premiere on KEXP late last week. It’s a six minute, fuzz heavy ballad that harkens back to the height of 70s rock and has the power to the change the very energy of the room in which it is played. Oberst has mastered the ways of listener manipulation, and through his quivering lines he slowly draws you in before unleashing a grandiose, solo-filled rock barrage that hits like a tidal wave of angst-laden passion for the over 25 crowd. I wish the following rip was slightly better, but for now it’s the best I can offer.


I have few doubts that we will one day live in a world with two or more books in existence on the topic of Conor Oberst’s talent as a songwriting, and it’s tracks like “Fast Friends” – which may have never seen the light of day – that reaffirm that belief. Like a great magic trick it deceives you from the start, then catches you off guard and wows you with its indie prestige.

Conor will release his latest solo album, Upside Down Mountain, on May 19 via Nonesuch Records. Pre-order are available now. There are also a few copies of the 7″ with “Fast Friends,” but they are going fast. Act now.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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