Legendary indie-rock trio Bright Eyes have released a brand new cover of the classic Vic Chesnutt track “Flirted With You All My Life.” The music marks the band’s first release since last year’s acclaimed Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, which came out mid-pandemic last year and was their first new music in almost a decade at the time.
Chesnutt is the beloved singer/songwriter of Athens, Georgia, who passed away in 2009. The band pays tribute to the musician with haunting poignancy as singer Conor Oberst’s signature vocals open the song with his emotional, shaky singing over pianos, soft drums and a striking bassline. The track is a great example of when covers can be special, as Bright Eyes bring its signature talents while retaining the energy and beauty that made the original remarkable in the first place. Oberst closes the track with hard-hitting screams and wails, closing another impressive entry to the band’s storied career.
Discussing the cover, it is clear how much Oberst respected the late Chesnutt. “I had the pleasure of seeing Vic perform many times over the years and from a young age,” explains Oberst. “I can truly say he deeply changed my worldview and what it meant to write a really unique and thought provoking song. One of the greatest ever. Always missed. Here is our humble version of one of his best.”
Bright Eyes‘ cover of “Flirted With You All My Life” features members Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nat Walcott, along with Macey Taylor, Jon Theodore and Andy LeMaster. The track was originally released as an exclusive LP and is now available for streaming on Dead Oceans. According to a press release, the “’Persona Non Grata b/w Flirted With You All My Life’ 7” on transparent orange with opaque red splatter vinyl is available via Secretly Store and Bandcamp.”
“Flirted With You All My Life” was originally released on Chesnutt’s 2009 album At the Cut, which debuted just a few months before his passing on Christmas Day of that year. The track alludes to Chesnutt’s complex history with suicide and nods to his previous attempts to take his own life. At the Cut was released to widespread critical acclaim and featured Fugazi vocalist and guitarist Guy Picciotto.