Already a busy enough man with his various projects, there’s still enough Conor Oberst to go round for him to reach his sixth solo album. Produced by Jonathan Wilson (aka Father John Misty) and also featuring some vocal contributions from First Aid Kit, Upside Down Mountain is a journey into Oberst’s more intimate moments. From one song to another, the Nebraska singer-songwriter tells us stories of desperate dreams, love adventures and lonely feelings. His lyrics are strong and powerful, demonstrating that we can’t give up even during tough times. As he says at one point, “there are hundreds of ways to get through the day”.
As you make your way through the record you dive into a sea of tight vocal harmonies, especially the mix of male/female voices on ‘Night At Lake’ that fans of She And Him or Belle And Sebastian will love. The songs take a similar form throughout, although sometimes dark and deep, sometimes with more upbeat joyfulness. In that spirit, the title of the album sums it up nicely – we can have ups, we can have downs and it can happen to anyone. With Upside Down Mountain, Conor Oberst has delivered his most mature album to date. It took him two long years to create this but it was worth waiting for, a message that life is precious and we shouldn’t forget it.