Where some might rest on reputation after racking up a dozen or so albums, Eric D. Johnson looks to be making some of the most ambitious pop of his career. After a move to Merge in 2020 with The Pet Parade, a live album, and a compilation that scooped up some of his lesser known songs, Johnson is back with Fruit Bats’ latest, A River Running To Your Heart. The second single from the album, “Rushin’ River Valley,” showcases Johnson’s widescreen vision of Americana, mixing a chug of strums with layers of piano, guitar, and synths that ripple like light off the water. Along with first single, “Waking Up In Los Angeles,” it appears that the new album has a feeling of lived-in ache, but Johnson’s songs can’t help but shine with a light in the eyes that scans the horizon for wonders. That feeling of wearied positivity has always kept Fruit Bats in high regard around here. The new album is out April 14th on Merge.
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