EDJ marks the debut of Eric D. Johnson’s new recording project of the same name. The eleven-track album, which was recorded in a number of different US cities, is to be released on August 5th via Easy Sound. The Fruit Bats’ vocalist says the album tells “simple stories, some about losses, a few about disappointment and regret, but also of hope and perseverance.” Featuring what he calls “melancholy grooves,” the album features a collection of sweet hypnotic lullabies.
The album opens with somewhat of a drowsy lullaby ‘For The Boy Who Moved Away,’ that speaks of embarking on a new chapter in one’s life by moving to a new place. What struck me about this opening track is how even though it mentions a seemingly positive scenario; the mood of the song depicted via the lyrical content and the musical arrangement is quite eerie and somber. This sets the mood for the rest of the album, which is far from a bright and cheery memoir but has it’s hopeful moments. An illustration of this is ‘Odd love,’ an ode of appreciation for an unconventional romance, which sees the singer accepting the relationship for the quirks that make it unique. The singer shows devotion and commitment when he sings “I love you with all my beating heart / It’s an odd love but it’s our love.” The album interlude comes with the two instrumental tracks, The Magical Parking Lot and Salt Licorice. Both the arrangements present an outlandish and almost inauspicious vibe, which contribute to the hypnotic vibe of the music. In keeping with the drowsy, almost lazy, vibe comes ‘For Joy,’ a retelling of the moment when a person is overcome with the beauty of nature and everything around him. A Child In The Wild, perhaps my favourite track of the album, is Eric’s simple acceptance of the departure of his youth. EDJ sings “Looking at a girl’s eyes looking back at your eyes / You will never fall in love like you used to” as he seems to have to terms with the fact that some experiences will never quite be the same again however there is hope as the singer seems to welcome the future rather than deciding to sulk in the past.
Throughout the album, EDJ’s description of his new venture became more accurate with each song. There is a definitely a sense of sadness in each song but allowing yourself to really feel the music and the lyrical content, there is an underlying message of hope and of better days can be taken. The album is EDJ’s acceptance of life and relationships through all their flaws and his work is only a prelude of even better things to come in the future.