With Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake and the rest of the pop stars who started out their singing careers as teenagers, it's easy to forget that there are occasionally too-young-to-drive figures in the world of indie rock as well.
Or at least there was Conor Oberst, the candid singer/songwriter from Nebraska who recorded under the name of Bright Eyes and started a cottage industry of heart-felt, small-batch music coming out of Omaha.
Oberst is all grown up now at 36. He's recently been focusing on some of his numerous side projects, particularly the politically charged and heavier-sounding Desaparecidos. Fans of emotionally raw singers like Elliott Smith or Julien Baker know that Oberst is a like-minded artist, one who's struggled with balancing the confessional mode and soul-searching with a subtle skepticism about the limits of sharing and truth-telling.
Oberst is one of those songwriters who seems to have superhuman powers of empathy. It's the thing that makes his songs heart-aching, and also the thing that makes one worry about his well being. It can't be healthy to feel that much, can it?
Oberst is married now, on a major label, settling into what could be a welcome mid-career mellowness. He released his last solo record in 2014, which, by Oberst's prolific standards, is a lifetime ago.
Conor Oberst plays the College Street Music Hall, 238 College St., New Haven, Friday, June 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $35. 203-867-2000, collegestreetmusichall.com.