Innovative sounds: Conor Oberst is all grown up with latest solo album

Also, brilliant new tunes from Haley Bonar and Yann Tiersen

Sarah Gray
May 21, 2014 8:45PM (UTC)

1) Haley Bonar - Last War

"Last War" is artist Haley Bonar's fifth album. In this record, Bonar has found a unique and cohesive sound that still allows her voice to shine. The album has a darker more expansive feel that is at times reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. Bon Iver's Justin Vernon collaborates on two tracks, "Eat for Free" and "From a Cage." Their lyrical-folk-feel harkens back to her earlier work. The song "No Sensitive Man" can be listened to below:


2) Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain

Conor Oberst began making emotionally charged music as a teen in his parent's home in Omaha, Nebraska. For an artist whose music has been characterized by disconcertingly relatable teenage angst (in Bright Eyes), this album it's both refreshing and familiar. In "Upside Down Mountain," Obsert returns to his lyrical roots, tackling love, happiness and his past in his characteristically poetic way. Though Oberst has created music in a variety and genres (and side projects) -- punk, country, electronic -- "Upside Down Mountain's" folk-rock-sound showcases Conor at his best.

3) Yann Tiersen - Infinity

Yann Tiersen, best known for scoring movies such as "Amélie," is out with a new album "Infinity," and will be touring the United States for the first time in four years. The album is a textured interweaving of sounds -- space-like electronics, light strings, and layered voices. Despite all of the intricate sounds, the album is not dense. Rather it takes on a whimsical tone. The first single, "A Midsummer Evening," and the track "Gronjord" exemplify the album's perfect balance of lightness and complexity. "A Midsummer Evening" can be heard below:


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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