Format and Editions
Fruit Bats’ Gold Past Life marks both an end and a beginning. It’s the end of an unintentional thematic trilogy of records from Eric D. Johnson 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 confines and families that could have been.
But the songs on Gold Past Life also represent new beginnings—the journeys that await after making it through troubled times. Johnson’s falsetto shines atop the bopping folk-rock of Gold Past Life. The new record features more keyboard influences 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.
“Fruit Bats makes existential make-out music,” Johnson 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.”