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Fruit Bats

Artist Information

When

Fruit Bats

announced its new album and signing to

Merge Records late last year, singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson

did so by “Getting in a Van Again.” The 15-minute

mockumentary presented a surrealist view of the music

industry, while teasing the very real themes explored on

Gold Past Life

—due out June 21, 2019.

“I know I said I’d be around this year, but here I am getting

in a van again.”

Gold Past Life

marks both an end and a beginning. It’s the

end of an unintentional thematic trilogy of records that

began with 2014’s

EDJ

(a solo record by name, but a Fruit

Bats release in spirit) and hit an emotional peak with 2016’s

Absolute Loser

. They encompassed years of loss, displacement,

and the persistent, low-level anxiety of the current political

climate. They were written in the wake of friends who left

these earthly confnes and families that could have been.

“I wrote music to comfort myself,” says Johnson of those times.

“It was a soothing balm.”

But these salves, these songs on

Gold Past Life

, also represent

new beginnings—the journeys that await after making it

through troubled times.

In fact, the notion of getting in a van to move on—literally

and metaphorically—is exactly what

Gold Past Life

is all about.

It’s about rejecting notions of idealized nostalgia (“Gold Past

Life”) and the process of grounding oneself in the present, both

geographically (“A Lingering Love,” “Ocean”) and spiritually

(“Drawn Away”).

That spiritual sense of place is particularly important to

Johnson, who has always been fascinated by dreams and

the subconscious stories they can tell. “Some of these songs

are directed at specifc people, some at amalgams of people,

and lots at myself, or the subconscious version of myself—

that version like how they say you’re every single character

in your dreams,” he says. “Even the artwork represents the

notion that we’re all the characters in our dreams. Here’s

me looking at you: I’m a deer on a beach looking you dead

in the eye and licking my lips.”

Even as he works through these journeys, Johnson’s falsetto

still shines atop the bopping folk-rock of

Gold Past Life

.

The new record also features more keyboard infuences

and a range of guests including Greta Morgan (Springtime

Carnivore, Vampire Weekend), Neal Casal (Circles Around

the Sun), Trevor Beld Jimenez and Tim Ramsey (Parting

Lines), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), and more. It also sees

his working relationship with producer and engineer Thom

Monahan (Neko Case, Peter Bjorn & John, Devendra

Banhart) hit its stride.

According to Johnson, “Fruit Bats has been a cult band for

a long time.” With

Gold Past Life

, he hopes to bring more

immediacy to the music and share positivity, hope, and

motivation to keep on keepin’ on with a wider audience.

“Fruit Bats makes existential make-out music,” he describes

with a chuckle. “But you’re also welcome to dive into it deeper

if you want. Good pop music should be sublime like that.”

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  • Sun, September 22, 2019
  • 8:00 PM
  • $20.75 - $25.00
  • 16 & Over
  • Buy Tickets
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