With some COVID-19 restrictions easing, it looked as if Bright Eyes and the rest of their backing band were able to gather for the performance in the same studio space (while still staying six feet apart). That togetherness lent their rendition of “Mariana Trench” a compelling immediacy, as frontman Conor Oberst delivered a gripping vocal performance over the song’s percolating groove, which eventually opens up with a flourish of horns.
Bright Eyes’ Late Show rendition of “Mariana Trench” came right on the heels of the single’s official release Monday (the studio version features Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea on bass and Jon Theodore from Queens of the Stone Age on drums). The song arrived alongside the announcement that Bright Eyes’ long-awaited new album, Down in the Weeds Where the World Once Was, will be released August 21st via Dead Oceans.
“Mariana Trench” follows previously released singles “Persona Non Grata,” “Forced Convalescence” and “One and Done.” Down in the Weeds marks Bright Eyes’ first new album since 2011’s The People’s Key.