Bright Eyes Announce New Album “Five Dice, All Threes”

Photo (c) Nik Freitas

Bright Eyes have announced their new album, “Five Dice, All Threes,” for release on September 20th via Dead Oceans. Comprised of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott, the beloved band’s 10th studio album features guest performances from long-time friends Cat Power, The National’s Matt Berninger, and The So So Glos’ Alex Orange Drink. Alongside today’s album news comes the release of the first track, ‘Bells and Whistles,’ and a slew of tour dates for the United States and Europe, including headline slots at Riot Fest and Rolling Stone Beach Festival.

The New Single: ‘Bells and Whistles’

‘Bells and Whistles’ is a rollicking, anthemic bop that gallivants from NY to LA, its lacerating lyrics referencing Banksy, Princess Diana, the Mets, Silverlake stalwart bar Edendale, music biz pitfalls, and Kevin Costner’s greatest film. The lighthearted video, directed by Josh Boone, was filmed in Omaha, Nebraska and features a magical photobooth, a bar fight, and a performance.

Of the track, Conor Oberst says, ‘This is a song about the many little details in life that can seem insignificant or frivolous or temporary at the time but eventually end up forming your destiny. And it’s also kind of a whistle while you work scenario.’

The Making of “Five Dice, All Threes”

Self-produced and recorded at Mike and Conor’s studio, ARC, in Omaha, Nebraska, “Five Dice, All Threes” is a record of uncommon intensity and tenderness, communal exorcism, and personal excavation. These are, of course, qualities that fans have come to expect from Bright Eyes, nearly three decades into their career. The tight-knit band of Conor, Mike, and Nate tends to operate in distinct sweeping movements: each unique in its sound and story but unified by a sense of ambition and ever-growing emotional stakes. Even with this rich history behind them, these new songs exude a visceral thrill like nothing they have attempted before. Conor has always sung in a voice that conveys a sense of life-or-death gravity. At times throughout “Five Dice, All Threes,” you may feel worried for him; other times, he may seem like the only one with the clarity to get us out of this mess.

The Album’s Unique Qualities

As is usual with Bright Eyes’ work, the music comes loaded with subtext that invites deep listening—the signature touch of a band that has always honoured the album as its exalted work of art. With the new songs, the trio embrace the elusive quality that has made them so enduring and influential across generations and genres, bringing their homespun sound from an Omaha bedroom to devoted audiences around the world. In Conor’s songwriting lies a promise that our loneliest thoughts and feelings can take on grander shapes when passed between friends, blasted through speakers, or shouted among crowds. “Five Dice, All Threes” is as confessional and unguarded as Conor has sounded in years. Throughout these timelessly constructed yet unabashedly modern songs, he earns his place among a rare class of songwriters who have grown more fearless and boundless with age.

Perfection in Imperfection

In the game of threes, the titular move would indicate a perfect roll. Perfection, however, means something different in the world of Bright Eyes, where our flaws are what grant us authority and finding meaning is only possible if we bear witness to the dark, winding journey to get there. On “Five Dice, All Threes,” Bright Eyes embrace these beliefs with music that feels thrillingly alive, as if we were all in the room with them, shouting along and gaining the strength to move forward together. It doesn’t just sound like classic Bright Eyes. It sounds like their future, too.

Five Dice, All Threes Tracklist:

1. Five Dice
2. Bells and Whistles
3. El Capitan
4. Bas Jan Ader
5. Tiny Suicides
6. All Threes
7. Rainbow Overpass
8. Hate
9. Real Feel 105° 
10. Spun Out 
11. Trains Still Run On Time
12. The Time I Have Left 
13. Tin Soldier Boy 

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