In January, Eric D. Johnson, best known for his work in Fruit Bats decided to sit down and write an album’s worth of songs over the course of a few weeks. And of course, until then, it was something he hadn’t done before. With material written in Portland, Boonville, California (the heart of California wine and weed country) and Joshua Tree, the album is a decided change of sonic and lyrical direction for Johnson — the material is much more emotionally ambiguous and the lyrics are inspired by Johnson’s own thoughts and experiences. In fact, in the press notes for the first single “Lose It All, All The Time,” Johnson admits that the songs are inspired by loss, disappointment, and ultimately perseverance. In particular, the first single is about the attempt to rebuild one’s life. The album’s second single “A West County Girl” has a wistfully melancholy and breezy feel as it talks about losing the love of a country gal and the attempt to rebuild one’s life after the end of a long-term relationship. In some way, it bears a resemblance to Nick Drake, if he had lived today and gotten into electronic production. And lyrically, the song has a novelist’s attention to detail as it reveals a rather empathetic psychological portrait.
The official video was recently released and its a visually striking video, as it splices scenes of an introspective and brooding Johnson appearing as though he’s about to play a divey honky tonk on a seemingly never ending tour, and a crew of workers making records and delivering them as precious commodities to a record store. But it ends with a trippy meta sensibility as it pulls out to show two daydreaming kids who had the TV on while the “West County Girl” video was on. Whoa.