Label: Dead Oceans In the past decade, the members of Bright Eyes have grown up. Oberst turned 40, lost a brother, married and separated, and recorded a number of wide-ranging side projects in between. Multi-instrumentalists Nathaniel Walcott and Mike Mogis both started families. For all its grim attention to personal and environmental apocalypses, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was is somehow sanguine — if bittersweet — in both melody and meaning. Down in the Weeds is a big album: each song feels almost cosmic, and the record itself clocks in at just under an hour. The arrangements are vast and intricate, a blend of fin-de-siècle orchestral pomp, shimmering synthetic effects, “tasteful slap bass” from none other than Flea, who features on half the album, and a bumper crop of instruments, from hammer dulcimers to bagpipes to Marxophones. Bright Eyes shines, as they always have, when they can simultaneously hold dread and optimism, joy and sorrow, in the words and tenor of a song.