The stirring tribute slowly builds from the piano and sparse percussion before bringing in the driving acoustic guitar. Bright Eyes lead singer Conor Oberst passionately delivers the haunting lyrics. “Oh death, you hector me / And decimate those dear to me,” he sings. “You tease me with your sweet relief / You are cruel and you are constant.”
“I had the pleasure of seeing Vic perform many times over the years and from a young age,” Oberst said in a press statement. “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.”
Chestnutt died from an overdose of muscle relaxants on Christmas Day in 2009 at 45 years old. He released 17 albums during his career, recording all of them after a 1983 car accident that left him a quadriplegic. In December 2020, Death Cab for Cutie also honored his legacy on a covers EP with their own take on “Flirted with You All My Life”.
In August of last year, Bright Eyes reunited to release Down in the Weeds Where the World Once Was, their first album in nine years.