Conor Oberst

Merge Records has this up-and-comer named Conor Oberst. Have you heard of him? He’s been in all sorts of bands or something. Now he’s releasing a self-titled album, which would make you think that it’s just him and a guitar but really he has this group called the Mystic Valley Band, which is a trip because it’s talking about the valley in Mexico where the album was recorded when you would think, from listening to “Danny Callahan,” that it was recorded in a not-so-mystic valley closer to Oberst’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Much of the album has that same vibe: reflective roadhouse ballads with rousing instrumentation and lush lyricism. This Conor Oberst fella writes some decent songs. He might just have a future. You heard it here first.