Eric D. Johnson/Fruit Bats (The Shins, Vetiver, Califone) Performing in Denver/Morrison – May
Fruit Bats Reveal Title Track Off
Album Out May 13
US Tour Dates Confirmed – Highlights Include May 12 At Brooklyn’s Rough Trade And May 20 At
The Roxy In Los Angeles
Fruit Bats is happy to share the title track off the forthcoming LP
Absolute Loser. The album is being released on May 13 via Easy Sound Recording Co. and the song debuted via Flood who said, “With its rolling guitar line and ambient backdrop, the song recalls fellow Chicago folkies Califone (with whom Johnson played for a stint), while Johnson’s bright vocal suggests sunnier times ahead.” Listen to the song with visual accompaniment by Annie Beedy here
(cleared to post):
Absolute Loser is the first album that Eric D. Johnson has recorded under the Fruit Bats name since 2011’s Tripper and it represents a triumphant return to name, form, and self. Despite implications, its title refers to the furthest depths of loss itself, rather than the state of those who have lost something. It’s the most honest, most confessional album of Fruit Bats‘ career.
The album was recorded by Thom Monahan who has a long relationship with Johnson. Johnson said of the process, “Thom and I have a great shorthand language with each other, and we trust one another a lot. A lot of it was just he and I in the studio together, me running around from station to station just seeing what might happen. Lots of “first thought, best thought” mentality.” Musically, Absolute Loser retains the same structural pop elements that made Fruit Bats so beloved in the first place. Its simple sounding melodies belie such thick musical textures, as some tracks incorporate up to ten guitar tracks layered on top of each other. Johnson also harks back to his days teaching banjo at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, and that instrumentation adds a folksy, Americana spirit to record. You can listen to the first single off the album, “Soon To Be A Ghost Town,”here.
Fruit Bats will be touring in support of Absolute Loser and the dates kick off May 5 in Northampton, MA and include a show on May 12 in Brooklyn, NY at Rough Trade and in Los Angeles on May 20 at the Roxy. The tour concludes at the Nelsonville Music Festival in Nelsonville, OH June 3-5. Fruit Bats are also confirmed for this year’s Pickathon Festvial in Happy Valley, OR August 5-7. All the tour dates are listed below.
photo by Annie Beedy
Johnson previously shed the Fruit Bats name as a cleanse of sorts. Grief-stricken after the loss of his wife’s pregnancy he felt the need to to start afresh. He abandoned the Fruit Bats band name that carried him for 16 years and five successful studio albums.
In the process of grieving, reflecting, and resigning himself to his new realities, Johnson realized how much weight a name can carry and how much of his sense of self was contained in just two small words.
Fruit Bats‘ rebirth parallels Johnson’s resiliency, and Absolute Loser is his treaty on how to redefine oneself after tragedy. Although he maintains that he doesn’t have it all figured out quite yet, Johnson acknowledges that with that self-awareness comes some sort of acceptance.
“I am what I am,” he says. “And that’s freeing in a way.”
May 5 – Northampton, MA – Iron Horse
May 6 – Burlington VT – Signal Kitchen
May 7 – Somerville, MA – ONCE Ballroom
May 8 – Hudson, NY – Club Helsinki
May 12 – Brooklyn, NY– Rough Trade
May 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
May 14 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
May 19 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
May 20 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy
May 21 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
May 22 – Phoenix, AZ – Valley Bar
May 24 – Austin, TX – The Parish
May 25 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
May 27 – Colorado Springs, CO – MeadowGrass Music Festival 2016
May 28 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre (with My Morning Jacket)
May 29 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
May 31 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
June 1 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi
June 2 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen
June 3-5 – Nelsonville, OH – Nelsonville Music Festival
August 5-7 – Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon Music Festival
Find Fruit Bats here: