Matt Berninger (the National) and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos) are two of rock’s heaviest-hitting lyricists. Turns out, they’re also huge fans of each other’s songs. The guys recently sat down to discuss all things songwriting (lyrics, finding melody, influences, “dick references,” embarrassment and so much more) for the Talkhouse Music Podcast. They break down songs from across their catalogues, such as the National’s “All the Wine,” “Fake Empire” and “Lemonworld,” and Conor’s “Lua,” “You Are Your Mother’s Child” and “Artifact #1.” They also discuss their favorite songwriters, giving a lot of love to Leonard Cohen.
This conversation between Matt Berninger and Conor Oberst provides an insight into the art of songwriting and music. I have long been told to listen to Oberst, but never found an entry point. I feel after understanding a bit more of the context to the music that I should return again for another listen.