AAA’s Hottest Record Of The Week – Tachycardia by Conor Oberst

Truth told, we could have picked any one of the ten songs on Conor Oberst’s just-dropped new solo album, Ruminations, and made it our hottest record of the week.

It was a tough call, but we’ve gone for the album’s opening track, Tachycardia. You can listen to it below.

Tachycardia, of course, refers to an abnormally fast heart rate, and Oberst was hospitalised with precisely that last year. A CT scan was followed by a MRI, which led to doctors discovering that he has a cyst on his brain, though he says it’s nothing to worry about – for the time being.

“It’s a mass grave / a dollar-fifty resting place,” sings the prolific Nebraskan songwriter in the song’s first line.

The track sets the tone in what’s a raw, acoustic offering from the Bright Eyes mainman, who made the album after he found himself hibernating in his hometown of Omaha after living in New York City for more than a decade. It was recorded with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica.

“I wasn’t expecting to write a record,” says the 36-year-old. “I honestly wasn’t expecting to do much of anything.

“Winter in Omaha can have a paralysing effect on a person but in this case it worked in my favour. I was just staying up late every night playing piano and watching the snow pile up outside the window. Next thing I knew, I had burned through all the firewood in the garage and had more than enough songs for a record.

“I recorded them quick to get them down, but then it just felt right to leave them alone,” he adds.

The result is one of Oberst’s rawest – and most beautiful – records yet. It is a contender for album of the year, no question.

As previously reported on AAA Edinburgh, the singer will perform songs from the album when he visits the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on 3 February.

Oberst will also play dates in London (1 Feb), Manchester (2 Feb) and Dublin (5 Feb) in support of Ruminations, which is out now on Nonesuch Records and available to download on iTunes.

Have a listen to Tachycardia below…

Words: Gary Flockhart



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