Old Favourites: Bright Eyes – “Four Winds”

“There’s people always dying, trying to keep them alive…”

I’m soon to exit my teenage years, so this week is going to have a lot of old favourites that were formative to these years. Amongst the artists and videos that were incredibly important to me was the work of Conor Oberst – best known to most as Bright Eyes. He’s always had a way with self-deprecation, but maybe it shines through the most from the video for Four Winds, the first single from the last Bright Eyes record, 2007’s Casadaga.

In the video, Oberst and his band perform at a country town hall. After awhile, it becomes increasingly clear that the group is not welcome, and a riot ensues. Conor is portrayed as the ultimate victim, a wallowing misery and filled with spite and regret. Even though the song is a Bible-bashing alt-country number, I empathised with that feeling of martyrdom and being despised. Yes, I am a whingy bitch – well, at least, I was. It’s bold in its imagery, in stark black and white with the anger of the audience mixed into the original recording. An outstanding video – one that I’ll probably always remember.

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