Top 50 Albums of 2016

top50You’ve all been waiting, anxiously. Waiting for our arbitrary list of the opinion of four folks who run this site, and what we think were the best albums of 2016. It’s really really important. We’re going to make our site great again with this list. We’re going to win, bigly. But really, it’s just a list of the stuff we loved the most that we covered throughout this year on our site. The comment section is open, so feel free to tell us where we’ve gone wrong or what we’ve got right or anything else fitting. Read more

Fruit Bats Give You Well Crafted Alt-Country

unnamed-33Fruit Batshas long been the project of Eric Johnson, but it has been some time since we’ve heard any new music from the outfit. Today, that changes with the video/song below. It’s a simple track, with clean acoustic guitar lines that meander through the song, giving the song a tone of melancholy, but with an uplifting undercurrent that slowly creeps in. It’s a great bit of alt-country that will provoke repeated listening and excitement for what else Fruit Bats has in store for you.

“Absolute Loser,” is an absolute winner, and is also the title track from the band’s upcoming full length release. It’s out May 15th via Easy Sound Recording Co.

New Single & Video From Fruit Bats

unnamed (16)Over the years I’ve made plenty of posts on this site about Fruit Bats and their Americana sound. Today I’m pleased to share with you a brand new single from Eric Johnson and company entitled “From A Soon-To-Be Ghost Town”. Once again the listener is treated to a unique take on the indie folk/country genre. The driving and rambling sounds make me want to head out on the open road.

Fruit Bats will releaseAbsolute Loser on May 13th via Easy Sound Recordings.

Another New EDJ Track

edjEric D Johnson  asks you not to expect the traditional happy songs he’s penned with Fruit Bats.  He promises that this set of songs for his EDJ project will be a little bit more reflective, a little bit more solemn.  You can grab those emotions from this latest track, as the pace is quite calm, and he seems extremely careful with the way he delivers his vocal parts.  Of course, even with a somewhat darker subject matter, there’s still that underlying pleasantry that you’ve come to associate with his work.  You’ll get  a chance to hear what he’s been up to when Easy Sound releases his self-titled work on August 5th.

New Music from Eric D Johnson

edjWe loved the work of Fruit Bats, so it only makes sense that we’re following closely the path of the band’s Eric D. Johnson.  Press release says that he acknowledges that these are not the happy songs that most people might associate with his writing, but I still find that there’s a brightness to what he’s creating.  I love the way his voice rises up, meeting the notes he’s crafted at each turn; it’s one of the staples of his songs that we’ve adored for some time. He’ll release a new album under the EDJ moniker on Easy Sound on August 5th.

Fruit Bats – Tripper

Rating: ★★★★ ·

You may or may not know this, but The Fruit Bats have been around for a pretty long time. I say you may not know them not to affront your breadth of knowledge of the musical scope, but to forgive the fact that they are one of those groups on the Sub Pop label that haven’t quite attained the popularity of bands like, dare I say, Fleet Foxes, or The Shins. However, popular doesn’t always mean that one band makes better music than the other; as “indie” music fans should know. Regardless, if you haven’t already hopped on the Fruit Bats express, now is as good of a time as any with their folksy yet pop filled fifth studio release.

Tripper begins with an introductory number that gives listeners a taste of the narrative style embedded inside all great Fruit Bats songs. “Tony the Tripper,” starts with delicate guitar strumming and the lead vocals of Eric Johnson, as you are gracefully eased into the storytelling about the title character. As piano parts trickle in above the bass-line during the chorus, you get the idea that Mr. Tony is a facet of Johnson’s personality; the wandering part of him coming out. It’s a quaint opening number, with the oh-so-pleasant-folksy attributes in full swing, that continues throughout the

On the third track, “Tangie and Ray,” there is a small shift to more a bluesy rock feel, and Fruit Bats show their multidimensional efforts that will make the transition from interesting to excellent on this album. At 3:13 long, it turns into a bit more a stomper than you’d expect from this band up to this point. With a kicked up drum beat and more prevalent piano, it’s a hearty break from the folk. However, you get right back to the folk on the next song, but this is not a bad thing in any way.

For me, the folksier songs are the better on Tripper. For instance, just when you think you’ve reached the end of the goodness, this band throws a beauty like “Wild Honey” your way, and it’s just astoundingly simple and elegant. It feels like a glorified Tallest Man on Earth track, with emotion packed vocals and all, ready for you to get lost inside its sound. If it doesn’t take your breath the first listen, have another, and let it sink in; the same can be said for any song on this album

It may easy these days to have access to a great deal of music, and it may be easy to pass over bands like Fruit Bats, but it is hard to find a grouping of tracks that have the power to both tell a story, and also move you sonically. So give Tripper a try; you’ll be missing out if you don’t.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/9788.mp3]

Download: Fruit Bats – Tangie and Ray [MP3]

More New Music From Fruit Bats

A couple months ago, we alerted you to a new single called “WACS” from purveyors of cool Fruit Bats.  Well now the group is offering up the this new song “Tangie and Ray” from their soon to be released album Tripper out August 2nd on Sub Pop Records.  Having already received the new record and given it some spins, I highly recommend you pick it up in a few weeks when it hits stores.  Their progressive take on pop infused folk music is easily accesible to most anyone with an ear for the finer things in life.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/9788.mp3]

Download: Fruit Bats – Tangie and Ray [MP3]

New Music From The Fruit Bats

Incredible indie songwriter Eric D. Johnson and his project known as Fruit Bats just announced plans for a new album entitled Tripper to be released on August 2nd via Sub Pop Records.  Now this new song “WACS” won’t be appearing on the upcoming LP, but we just had to share the tasty new number with you guys.  It’s a nice little jangly number with sweet reverb oohs and ahs in the background.  The track also features a guest appearance by the legeneder J. Mascis.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Fruit-Bats-WACS.mp3]

Download: Fruit Bats – WACS [MP3]

New Track from Vetiver

Seeing as we’re huge fans of Sub Pop, we’ve known this one was coming for sometime, but we hadn’t gotten a chance to hear anything new. Then today out comes “Can’t You Tell,” the first single from the new Vetiver record, The Errant Charm, coming to you on June 14th.  This song has less of a traditional feel for the band, adding a little bit of bounce in their step, at least in comparison to their folk stylings on past efforts.  Similar to bands like the Fruit Bats or Foreign Born, they’ve added a bit of a pop element, perhaps seeking out a happier vibe for us all. Give this one a listen.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Vetiver_-_Can_t_You_Tell.mp3]

Download: Vetiver – Can’t You Tell [MP3]

Show Preview: Blitzen Trapper @ La Zona Rosa (10/13)

Date 10/13/10
Location La Zona Rosa
Doors 8pm
Tickets $16 @ Frontgate

La Zona Rosa has a great show planned for Wednesday night in Austin.  Headliners Blitzen Trapper are of course always great live, but let’s not forget about the secondary acts sharing the stage.  So I’d suggest getting to the venue early to catch out sets by opener Pearly Gate Music and middle band Fruit Bats.  Helluva a lineup!

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Blitzen-Trapper-Heaven-and-Earth.mp3]

Download: Blitzen Trapper – Heaven and Earth [MP3]

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