2009's "The Ruminant Band" by Fruit Bats

2009’s “The Ruminant Band” by Fruit Bats

As part of our ongoing Long Play series, opbmusic is playing selections from Fruit Bats’ album “The Ruminant Band” all day throughout the broadcast on Tuesday, March 26.

Eric D. Johnson has had an incredibly prolific and successful career as a musician. He was a member of The Shins at the crest of that group’s commercial success in the late-2000s; he’s written scores for films starring Uma Thurman and Paul Rudd; he produced records by Breathe Owl Breathe and Nina Persson of The Cardigans; co-founded the Huichica Music Festival; and even released a solo record under the name EDJ in 2014. But throughout the past two decades, the dominant force in his creative life has been the (sometime Portland-based) project Fruit Bats.

Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats

Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats

Annie Beedy/Courtesy of the artist

What started as a four track side project for Johnson in the late 90s, has blossomed into a full-fledged band with 7 albums to its name, including a new release due out later this year.

Of all of those albums, 2009’s “The Ruminant Band” was perhaps the most important for the band. It was universally acclaimed by critics and included a couple of bonafide standalone jams in “My Unusual Friend” and the album’s title track. But with its hybrid mash-up of sun-kissed folk and California country rock, the album’s overall sound represented a coherent (and beautiful) realization of Johnson’s influences and formed the basis for the group’s later albums.

“The Ruminant Band” was released on Aug. 4, 2009 via Sub Pop Records. Join us on opbmusic broadcast all day throughout the broadcast on Tuesday, March 26 as we celebrate the record’s 10 year anniversary by playing selections from the album. We’ll also be giving away a vinyl copy of the record on the air (tune in for details).

And FYI – Fruit Bats are part of the Pickathon lineup this summer in Happy Valley, OR (Aug. 1-4).