Fruit Bats - Sometimes A Cloud Is Just A Cloud (2001-2021)
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Eric D. Johnson, the creative force behind Fruit Bats, doesn't spend a lot of time looking in the rear view mirror. However with the 20th anniversary of his first Fruit Bats release (2001's Echolocation) on his mind, it seemed as good a time as any to take stock of his work - and he's doing so in the form of Sometimes a Cloud Is Just a Cloud: Slow Growers, Sleeper Hits and Lost Songs (2001-2021), a two record collection that tracks the history of Fruit Bats from its earliest days to right now.
Thoughtfully compiled by Johnson himself, this set is split in two distinct halves. Set in reverse chronological order, the first disc cherry-picks from Fruit Bats' official releases. To emphasize both his reticence at dwelling on the past and to showcase how far he has grown as a songwriter, the first disc kicks off with a brand-new track, "Rips Me Up".
The first record focuses on Fruit Bats’ official releases, including fan favorites like “Humbug Mountain Song” from 2016’s Absolute Loser and “The Bottom of It” from his 2019 Merge debut Gold Past Life - alongside some of Johnson’s more personal choices like “Glass in Your Feet” from his 2001 debut Echolocation.
Johnson complied the second record for his longtime fans that want a deeper dive into Fruit Bats lore. He dug into several hard drives’ worth of material. Included here are lovely early versions of “Rainbow Sign” and “The Old Black Hole,” recorded to a Tascam 4-track just as Fruit Bats was becoming a reality. There’s also a rambling take on the Steve Miller Band’s classic rock mainstay “The Joker,” and some wonderful never-before-heard original tunes. Two of the most exciting tracks are “WACS” and “When the Stars Are Out,” both recorded during the sessions for 2011’s The Tripper.
Limited Edition PINK and VIOLET SWIRL double vinyl produced by Merge Records in 2022.