LP released: Mar 05, 2021
THE PET PARADE (CLEAR W/RED AND BLACK SWIRL)
Hello from in here to all you out there. FRUIT BATS' ninth LP opens with this invocation, this call from an isolated vocal room to your headphones somewhere out in the world. It's a beckoning for your trust and attention, but also an assurance in lonely times-a distillation of melancholy wrapped in a danceable waltz. While many of the songs on The Pet Parade were actually written before the pandemic, it's impossible to disassociate the record from the times. As an example, producer Josh Kaufman (The Hold Steady, Bob Weir, The National, and Bonny Light Horseman, in which he plays with Johnson and Ana s Mitchell) was brought in for his deep emotional touch and bandleading abilities. However, Johnson, Kaufman, and the other musicians on The Pet Parade-drummers Joe Russo and Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Fleet Foxes, Muzz), singer-songwriter Johanna Samuels, pianist Thomas Bartlett (Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens), and fiddler Jim Becker (Califone, Iron & Wine)-were forced to self-record their parts in bedrooms and home studios across America. Still, says Johnson, "The songs have enough intimacy that it doesn't sound like it was made a million miles away."