Last night, rumors that have been percolating on fansites, Reddit boards and Twitter for months were finally confirmed when Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst released a self-titled album (listen to it here) under the name Better Oblivion Community Center, which was shortly followed by a live performance of "Dylan Thomas" on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert on CBS.
The new band kept their plans under wraps for months as they wrote and recorded in Los Angeles in the summer and fall of 2018. By the tail end of the year rumors were swirling and a mysterious phone number appeared on social media platforms. Fans of both artists began receiving enigmatic brochures in the mail and a bus stop advertising the Better Oblivion Community Center appeared in their hometown of LA. The album - released by Dead Oceans - appeared, without warning, on DSPs and within the hour the band were performing - for the very first time! - on network television.
Produced by Bridgers, Oberst and long time Oberst/Bright Eyes collaborator Andy LeMaster, Better Oblivion Community Center features the work of several talented friends: Yeah Yeah Yeahs' guitarist Nick Zinner appears on two tracks (first single "Dylan Thomas" and "Dominoes") while Carla Azar (Autolux, Jack White) plays drums on half of the album. Dawes' rhythm section Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith appear on the other half. Singer/songwriter Christian Lee Hutson contributes guitar and Anna Butterss provides bass. Zinner joined Phoebe and Conor for their live performance on Stephen Colbert, along with the touring band, Emily Retsas, Elizabeth Goodfellow and Christian Lee Hutson.