Bright Eyes are back with their first album in nine years, Down In The Weeds, Where the World Once Was, and in the time since they last released music, they've only gotten more influential. Not only can you hear their direct influence on so many of today's best indie rock singer/songwriters like Phoebe Bridgers (who now frequently collaborates with Bright Eyes leader Conor Oberst), Lucy Dacus (who were supposed to tour with Bright Eyes this year), Japanese Breakfast (ditto), Julien Baker, Hop Along, Big Thief, and countless others, but Bright Eyes have impacted some of the biggest artists in pop music, from The 1975 to Lorde to Post Malone. In honor of Bright Eyes' return, we've taken a look at ten artists who expressed their love of Bright Eyes in the form of cover songs. Unsurprisingly, two of their most beloved and quoted songs, "Lua" and "First Day of My Life," are very represented here, but there's some variety beyond that, too. Read on for the list.
Mac Miller - "First Day Of My Life" & "Lua"
The late rapper Mac Miller was always known to dabble in several genres of music outside of hip hop, and one of his big influences was Conor Oberst. Before we tragically lost Mac to a drug overdose at age 26 in 2018, he released released two remarkably faithful covers of two of the most loved songs off I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. Speaking to Rolling Stone, he called "Lua," which poignantly details addiction and loneliness, his " middle school depression song." "Conor is one of the best songwriters/storytellers of our time," Miller continues. "Throughout the years, that song has continued to speak to me. There are two kinds of covers: one you play because you know and like it and one that you believe every word you’re saying like they are your own. Real hip-hop."
(Related: alt-country singer Rayland Baxter’s Mac Miller tribute EP showed how well some of Mac’s music could work as indie folk songs.)