Unlike R.E.M. and PJ Harvey, Conor Oberst has been stingy when it comes to early previews of Bright Eyes’ forthcoming LP, The People’s Key. With that it mind, let me present you with our second taste of the album in the form of “Haile Selassie”. Arriving a month after the album’s lead single, “Shell Games”, Spinner reports that “Haile Selassie” takes its name from Ethiopia’s long-time Emperor, who also became a central figure in Jamaica’s Rastafari movement.
Per the good ol’ Wiki:
At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people. His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring. His suppression of rebellions among the nobles (mekwannint), as well as what some perceived to be Ethiopia’s failure to modernize adequately, earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.
Haile Selassie is revered as the returned Messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, among the Rastafari movement, the number of followers of which is estimated between 200,000 and 800,000. Begun in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness, and prosperity.
Download Bright Eyes’ “Haile Selassie” for the price of an email address here. Then pick up The People’s Key went it hits stores February 15th via Saddle Creek.