Fruit Bats: Rustic, Homemade Pop

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Fruit Bats started out in the mid-'90s as a low-fidelity bedroom project for singer-songwriter Eric Johnson. Although he made several tapes of his music in the beginning, none of it was intended for release.

Song List

"Primitive Man"

"The Ruminant Band"

fruit bats

Fruit Bats. Annie Beedy hide caption

toggle caption Annie Beedy

After making friends with representatives of Perishable Records in 2000, Johnson was persuaded to take his music to the recording studio, and the result — his first album — was an underground eye-opener.

Tours with heavyweights like Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine helped Fruit Bats' stock rise, and the band signed with Sub Pop two years after forming. A follow-up record, Mouthfuls, continued Fruit Bats' burgeoning success.

Over the next few years, the group released several albums, including Spelled in Bones; Johnson also later made waves by joining the best-selling indie-pop outfit The Shins.

Fruit Bats reunited in 2008 to record The Ruminant Band. The disc showcases a vintage rock feel, with dusty melodies and beautiful harmonies laid out over a gravelly layer of electric guitar.

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