It really doesn’t seem like Chicago’s Fruit Bats have been around over twenty years, possibly because they’ve always found a way to reinvent their sound. In the time they’ve been a band they’ve gone so far as to “cash in” on the folk rock boom and come out of the other side smelling like roses. With their new album Gold Past Life due in June, the first two singles off of the album signal a more nostalgic sound from the group while never really having an antiquated feel.
The first single “The Bottom Of It” has a nice opening, with vocals sounding like they’re being sung at the end of a hallway. The piano that comes in only highlights the seventies vibe of the track, coming closest to soft rock without being too slow. The upbeat pace alongside the twangy guitar licks that hop on and off the track make for a nice touch, while the song is chill enough to enjoy at the same time. There’s a nice feel to the song, showcasing the strengths of Eric D. Johnson as a songwriter while giving your ears plenty of proof.
The latest single “Gold Past Life” has this falsetto vocal that opens things up, coming close to Bee Gees in its presentation. Keep in mind that Johnson isn’t stealing anyone’s sound, though the yacht rock nuances of the verse definitely remind you of a time rife with captain’s hats and gold rimmed shades. When that falsetto returns in the chorus, Fruit Bats pull you closer as you just enjoy the music as they play it. Fully fleshed out and full of instrumentation, the song signals something we want more of from the band.
Both songs are available to stream on all streaming services, they can be purchased digitally from all online music retailers and Gold Past Life can be pre-ordered directly from Merge Records ahead of its June 21 release. Fruit Bats are on tour starting June 07 in Sonoma, CA at Huichica Festival until August 11 in Lexington, KY at Railbird Festival. All of the bands performances can be tracked here.
Image Credits: Photo by Annie Beedy.