Continuing the style of 2005's 'I'm wide awake it's morning' album, The Four Winds EP finds Bright Eyes lacing their country tinged music with some incredibly sharp political and social commentary.
From the very outset Conor Oberst spits out the first line, "Your class, your caste, your country, sect, your name or your tribe, There's people always dying trying to keep them alive," it's evident that he is at his lyrical best, the mix of poetic and religious symbolism is almost worthy of its own academic thesis.
That the remaining five tracks are outtakes from the album sessions indicates that 'Cassadaga' may well be their finest release to date. 'Reinvent the Wheel', 'Stray Dog Freedom' and 'Cartoon Blues' will be appreciated by anyone who enjoyed the tempo of 'I'm wide awake it's morning.'
On track three, 'Smoke Without Fire', we see a style that's significantly more atmospheric, the layers of instrumentation are stripped back to their barest which leaves an incredibly moving and uncomplicated track. Look out too for the odd vocal by M. Ward.
It's hard to place this release, obviously the title track is a really incredible offering, perhaps the most lyrically accomplished Bright Eyes release yet. There is however enough depth to this EP to make it a worthwhile purchase in its own right and until we hear the new album, it's enough to get us just a little excited about what may be coming. Songwriters like Conor Oberst only come about once in a generation and the Four Winds EP is a real indication of just how much there is to cherish.