Sometimes A Cloud Is Just A Cloud: Slow Growers, Sleeper Hits and Lost Songs (2001 - 2021)

Merge Records

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Eric D. Johnson, the creative force behind Fruit Bats, doesn’t spend a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror. “Maybe it speaks to some Midwest thing,” he says. “Don’t be overly reflective or navel-gazing. And as a songwriter, you always want to be looking forward, not backward.” But with the 20th anniversary of his first Fruit Bats release (2001’s Echolocation) on his mind, it seemed as good a time as any to take stock of his work—and he’s doing so in the form of Sometimes a Cloud Is Just a Cloud: Slow Growers, Sleeper Hits and Lost Songs (2001–2021), a two-disc collection that tracks the history of Fruit Bats from its earliest days to right now. To emphasize both his reticence at dwelling on the past and to showcase how far he has grown as a songwriter, the first disc kicks off with a brand-new track, “Rips Me Up.” Recorded with Josh Kaufman, who helped produce Fruit Bats’ 2021 full-length The Pet Parade, the song is a soulful strutter about, as Johnson says in the liner notes for this set, how love “paralyzes and wounds us.”


1. Without Any Airs
2. Barely Living Room (Demo)
3. Baby Bluebird (Waltz Demo)
4. Hot Dogs
6. When the Stars Are Out
7. Aces
8. The Joker
9. Feather Bed (Demo)
10. Goodnight Sun & Hello Moon
11. Rainbow Sign (4-Track Demo)
12. The Old Black Hole (4-Track Demo)