Published Jan 12, 2021Eric D. Johnson's Fruit Bats have returned with plans for a new album titled The Pet Parade, which is set to arrive through Merge Records on March 5. Today, they've shared the album's lead single "Holy Rose."
The forthcoming record has been described as "a beckoning for your trust and attention, but also an assurance in lonely times — a distillation of melancholy wrapped in a danceable waltz." Engineered in tandem with Johnson's Bonny Light Horseman bandmate Josh Kaufman (with additional engineering by Matt Barrick, Joe Russo and Brian Kantor), Fruit Bats' ninth studio album was largely written pre-pandemic.
That said, many of the tracks feature the album's various contributors' recordings in isolation, including Barrick and Russo, as well as singer-songwriter Johanna Samuels, pianist Thomas Barlett, fiddler Jack Becker and more. Nonetheless, "the songs have enough intimacy that it doesn't sound like it was made a million miles away," Johnson said of the effort.
"I'm still really excited to make records," he added. "Lucky and happy and maybe happier that things went slower for me. I'm savouring it a lot more."
Ahead of its release this March, listen to The Pet Parade's lead single "Holy Rose" below, where you'll also find the record's tracklisting. Of the track, Johnson wrote:
"Holy Rose" is possibly the most "direct" song on The Pet Parade. I wrote this about the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County and was finishing it up right when fire season was raging in California. My wife grew up in Sonoma County and just had to sit there and watch her childhood burn down. This is a love song to the native West Coasters.
The Pet Parade marks Fruit Bats' follow up to their last proper record, 2019's Gold Past Life. Last summer, Johnson released a Smashing Pumpkins covers album under the Fruit Bats namesake, taking on the band's seminal 1993 effort Siamese Dream. In 2020, Johnson appeared on both Friend/Enemy's HIH NO/ON and as one member of the newly-formed Bonny Light Horseman alongside Kaufman and Anaïs Mitchell for their debut self-titled album.
1. The Pet Parade
2. Cub Pilot
4. The Balcony
5. Here For Now, For You
6. On the Avalon Stairs
7. Eagles Below Us
8. Holy Rose
9. All in One Go
10. Gullwing Doors