The End of Scarcity #5: Bright Eyes

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In the age of digital streaming music, entire discographies are at your fingertips but the concept of the rarity is on its last legs. The End of Scarcity is a feature that attempts to spotlight the deep cuts from big names that can’t be found on Spotify or bought on iTunes. Demos, B-Sides, Covers, whatever — things that require a close searching. Today: Bright Eyes.

Bright Eyes actually put out a collection of their best rarities & B-sides way back in 2006 called Noise Floor (I wonder if that will still be a common anthology when an artist’s entire career is Spotify accessible?). One of the songs on that compilation is “Bad Blood,” which comes from a split with instrumental all-star The Album Leaf. They left out their other collaboration, a Christmas-tinged tale called “Hungry for a Holiday.”

Bright Eyes – Hungry for a Holiday

Well, okay, it’s not totally true. “Hungry for a Holiday” appears on the vinyl version of Noise Floor. But how are you going to play that on your phone?

On “Hungry for a Holiday,” Conor Oberst ramps up the tenderness of his voice into childlike innocence territory. Something about the simple, serene picking of The Album Leaf puts Oberst in a more precious place, it seems. Despite all the quivering delicacy, there’s an extremely subtle urge to bob your head even before the drums kick in, and Oberst’s writing represents the best of nursery rhyme poetry. “The voices soared, the people joined, the silver coins / they filled our coffee can / We all agreed, the charity, was much in need / yes a noble cause that that.”

Pretend it’s about Thanksgiving if it’s not in-season for your ears.

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