On July 26th, Union Stage welcomes Fruit Bats to The Wharf as they tour their 2019 album, Gold Past Life. Formed as an indie folk-rock band in the 1990’s, Fruit Bats now remains the solo ambition of leader Eric D. Johnson who uses the name as a portfolio for his original work. Fruit Bats makes a return after three years of silence, having just signed to Merge Records in November of 2018. This change marks the beginning of a new era for Fruit Bats as Johnson explores his melodic sensibilities with the fresh support of a new label.
The announcement of the signing came followed by a 15-minute mockumentary Getting in a Van Again. The mock-doc uses dramatic irony to emphasize the ridiculousness of searching for creativity during the process of writing and producing an album. Getting in a Van Again subtly and specifically references the very real feelings of Fruit Bats as they get back into a van and tour their recently released album. Gold Past Life highlights the fun and authentic themes alluded to in Getting in a Van Again.
This album is not only a continuation of previous Fruit Bats projects but a representation of how far Johnson has come in the past years both personally and creatively. Tracks specifically reference different characters in his life and the whole album acts as a tribute to his most recent journeys. “I try to write within a world in my head,” Johnson explains, “I was always afraid to repeat myself but I’m not so much anymore because this is all just sort of part of this multiverse that I’ve [created].” Johnson does not shy away from experimenting with sounds or repeating previous themes as he steers through the creative world he’s been growing for two decades. What you’ll see on tour is a stripped-down honest deliverance of a story of a man and the integral twists and turns of his life. Tagged with jumpy melodies and light accompaniments, the story unfolds naturally to reveal a glimpse into Johnson’s life and leads the audience to think deeply about their own lives in a positive, reflective way.
Fruit Bats play Union Stage on 7/26 with Air Waves. Tickets available here.
By Carly Buckner
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