Fruit Bats are back.
The band and songwriting project fronted by Eric D. Johnson have shared their first bit of new music since 2016’s Absolute Loser LP in the form of a bouncy new folk song, “Getting in a Van Again.” It arrives with an accompanying documentary-style video, which may also be a mockumentary (okay, it’s definitely a mockumentary). Watch the 15-minute-long clip below (or jump to 11:55 to hear the song), and/or stream the track here.
The quirky video proposes an exaggerated documentation of how the recording process works. An “Emotional Engineer” (played by actor DeMorge Brown) strolls through suburbia, reaping sound effects (a sizzling grill, a barking dog) for “Fruit Bats’ new single” before a series of talking heads offer their takes on the band and making music. They proceed to “record” the new song, and then it plays for a few minutes at the end of the clip as Johnson gazes at his newly hung “Fruit Bats curtains.” “This short film by my brilliant friend Jonny Look may or may not be real,” Johnson said in a statement. “Actually, it’s totally real.”
“Getting in a Van Again” the song, on the other hand, is perfectly real, and it’s the kind of tune you want to slap your knee to, a laid-back alt-country stomper about touring, complete with some twang and Johnson’s typical delightfully scratchy voice.
Along with the new track, Fruit Bats have also shared some exciting news: They have signed to North Carolina’s Merge Records. Merge will release Fruit Bats’ next record, out sometime next year. Here’s what Johnson had to say about the signing:
My band Fruit Bats has signed to Merge Records. I’ve had a mega label crush on them for two-plus decades. I’m considering building a time machine to tell my past self about this, who will not believe it. My current self is also beyond thrilled.
Again, you can watch Fruit Bats’ new mockumentary below. Further down, you’ll find Fruit Bats’ 2016 session in the Paste Studio and their 2011 performance of “Flamingo” at the Huichica Music Festival via the Paste vault. Keep scrolling for Fruit Bats’ tour dates.
Fruit Bats Tour Dates:
08 – Asheville, N.C. @ The Mothlight*
09 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Open Chord*
10 – Carrboro, N.C. @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room*
11 – Richmond, Va. @ Capital Ale House*
13 – Annapolis, Md. @ Rams Head On Stage*
14 – Philadelphia, Penn. @ The Locks at Sona*
15 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Union Pool*
17 – Port Chester, N.Y. @ Capitol Theatre (The Complete Last Waltz)
17 – Bellingham, Wash. @ Wild Buffalo
18 – Seattle, Wash. @ Tractor Tavern
19 – Portland, Ore. @ Revolution Hall
(* – w/ Vetiver)