Gold Past Life marks both an end and a beginning. It's the end of an unintentional thematic trilogy of records that began with 2014's EDJ (a solo record by name, but a Fruit Bats release in spirit) and hit a peak with 2016's Absolute Loser. They encompassed years of loss, displacement, and the persistent, low-level anxiety of the current political climate. They were written in the wake of friends who left these earthly confines and families that could have been.
"I wrote music to comfort myself," says Johnson of those times. "It was a soothing balm."
But these salves, these songs on Gold Past Life, also represent new beginnings-the journeys that await after making it through troubled times.
In fact, the notion of getting in a van to move on-literally and metaphorically-is exactly what Gold Past Life is all about. It's about rejecting notions of idealised nostalgia ("Gold Past Life") and the process of grounding oneself in the present, both geographic ally ("A Lingering Love," "Ocean") and spiritually ("Drawn Away").
"Fruit Bats makes existential make-out music," he describes with a chuckle. "But you're also welcome to dive into it deeper if you want. Good pop music should be sublime like that."
"This sweet, smart concept album about nostalgia is one of the year's best-written ... with bonus Supertramp homage content, to boot." Variety
1. The Bottom of It
2. Gold Past Life
3. Drawn Away
6. Your Dead Grandfather
7. A Lingering Love
8. Barely Living Room
9. Mandy from Mohawk (Wherever You May Be)
10. Dream Would Breathe
11. Two Babies in Michigan