Bright Eyes have released a new song titled “Persona Non Grata.” The single marks their first new music in nine years, following 2011’s The People’s Key. The band also confirmed they will release a new album this year via their newly signed label, Dead Oceans.
“Getting dressed for a date/put on blue aftershave,” Conor Oberst sings in the track’s opening lines, led by sparse piano. “Wore a kilt like a kelt/hid the weight that I felt.” A minute into the song, searing bagpipes enter.
Bright Eyes previously announced a massive 2020 world tour, but in a letter accompanied by the single, they admitted the trek is up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Strange days indeed,” they wrote. “We, like so many others, had many plans for 2020. We will be releasing a new album this year no matter what. We also have lots of touring plans that we are now reassessing. We will keep you informed as things progress. We very much want to get on the road and hope to see you all in person sooner rather than later.”
“Until then, here is a song called ‘Persona Non Grata,’” they continued. “We hope you like it. It was hard to decide which song to share first because they are all quite different, but this one seemed as good of a place as any to start. And it has bagpipes! Which is a first for us.”