3TEN ACL Live Presents
310 Willie Nelson Blvd, Suite 1A
Austin, TX, 78701
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
When Fruit Bats announced its new album and signing to Merge Records late last year, singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson did so by “Getting in a Van Again.” The 15-minute mockumentary presented a surrealist view of the music industry, while teasing the very real themes explored on Gold Past Life—due out June 21, 2019.
“I know I said I’d be around this year, but here I am getting in a van again.”
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 an emotional 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 Eric D. 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 idealized nostalgia (“Gold Past Life”) and the process of grounding oneself in the present, both geographically (“A Lingering Love,” “Ocean”) and spiritually (“Drawn Away”).
That spiritual sense of place is particularly important to Johnson, who has always been fascinated by dreams and the subconscious stories they can tell. “Some of these songs are directed at specific people, some at amalgams of people, and lots at myself, or the subconscious version of myself—that version like how they say you’re every single character in your dreams,” he says. “Even the artwork represents the notion that we’re all the characters in our dreams. Here’s me looking at you: I’m a deer on a beach looking you dead in the eye and licking my lips.”
Even as he works through these journeys, Johnson’s falsetto still shines atop the bopping folk-rock of Gold Past Life. The new record also features more keyboard influences and a range of guests including Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore, Vampire Weekend), Neal Casal (Circles Around the Sun), Trevor Beld Jimenez and Tim Ramsey (Parting Lines), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), and more. It also sees his working relationship with producer and engineer Thom Monahan (Neko Case, Peter Bjorn & John, Devendra Banhart) hit its stride.
According to Johnson, “Fruit Bats has been a cult band for a long time.” With Gold Past Life, he hopes to bring more immediacy to the music and share positivity, hope, and motivation to keep on keepin’ on with a wider audience.
“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.”
Sun June makes regret pop in Austin, Texas.
Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury formed the band while working long hours in director Terrence Malick’s editing rooms, practicing in the office whenever Malick was out of town.
They worked with Dan Duszynski (Cross Record; Loma) and fellow Malick alum Will Patterson (Sleep Good) on a set of demos before solidifying the current line up of Michael Bain on guitar, Sarah Schultz on drums, and Justin Harris on bass.
In 2017 they began working on Years with Evan Kaspar at Estuary Recording Facility, recording live to tape. Tony Presley of the Austin label Keeled Scales was living above the studio at the time, and first heard Sun June through the floorboards.
Years was released on June 15, 2018 via Keeled Scales, home to kindred talent like Julia Lucille, Big Thief's Buck Meek and more. So far they’ve released a music video for "Young," a thoughtfully thumping visit with the past that found its way onto reputable playlists like Fresh Finds and NPR's Staff Picks, and one for "Discotheque," an equally resonant reminiscence picked up by New Indie Mix and YouTube's taste-making Coffee Shop Blend. Their third single, “Slow Rise II,” premiered on Consequence of Sound, and their fourth, “Records,” premiered on NPR.org.
Years is a we’ve-been-broken-up-a-long-time record. It explores how loss—of friends, family members, and partners—evolves over time. But its ten songs aren’t weighed down or overly dour. Layered vocals and warm guitar lines float over simple structures, and no sound is overly polished or processed.
The band has been touring extensively on the record, and in March 2019 they released Younger, a four song companion piece to the debut. It features new songs “Monster Moon” and “NYC” along with two Years demos. They’re now at work on their second record.
Day of Show: $25.00
Tickets Available at the Door
* There is a $4.00 fee that is added to every ticket purchased at our Box Office. This includes Day of Show pricing.