Release Date: Aug 5, 2014
Record label: Easy Sound
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Sounding like the culmination of all of his myriad other projects, from the quirky, rural folk-pop of the Fruit Bats to the psych-tinged post-rock of Califone and the smart, Beatles/Beach Boys-esque indie rock of the Shins (there are even elements at play here from his film score work on Smashed and Our Idiot Brother), pop polymath Eric D. Johnson's first foray under just his initials is all about the art of songcraft. Festooned with not-so-obvious hooks and richly detailed yet never intrusive arrangements, and delivered with the easy gait of someone doing exactly what they should in life, EDJ feels like it sounds and vice-versa, especially on standout cuts like "For the Boy Who Moved Away," "Lose It All, All the Time," and "A West County Girl.
Back in November, Chicago-rooted folksters Fruit Bats announced that they were calling it quits. The curtain call came as a shock to fans of the band’s strummy folk-pop, who had grown used to a steady stream of releases—five full-lengths—in the group’s 13-year career. But even though he made it clear that Fruit Bats was finished, frontman Eric D.
Last fall Eric D. Johnson announced the end of his indie folk band the Fruit Bats, who over the course of 13 years had released five studio albums. In a blog post featured on the band’s site Johnson cited no great reason for the disbandment. Perhaps he simply wished to ditch the moniker, which he admits, “has always ostensibly been a ‘solo’ project”.
Taking the skills garnered from his recent film score work, former Fruit Bat Eric D. Johnson returns to the world of pop/rock with a bigger studio toolbox to supplement his well-worn bag of hooks and melodies. Johnson's compositional chops, guided and honed by long-time collaborator/producer Thom Monahan, put a pearly sheen on his rootsy songwriting — imagine an L.A.