EDJ or Eric D Johnson—known mainly as the lead singer of the recently dissolved folk band Fruit Bats, his collaborations with The Shins, and for his contributions to the score of several movies, including “Our Idiot Brother”—has stepped out on his own with a self-titled album, which is to be released on August 5 through the Easysound label.
Unlike so many artists that break off on their own, EDJ has successfully carried on the chill, folksy vibe of his band, while preserving an individualism that sets his solo album apart.
EDJ set out to write an album’s worth of songs in only a few weeks while traveling from his home in Portland down the west coast. He did not just succeed in completing an album in a few weeks, but exceeded even his own expectations. In a press release, he explained songwriting takes him quite a while but these pieces each came from a part of his life. “These new songs each mean something from my life and from my brain,” EDJ said.
This is not what could be described as a “happy go lucky” album. There aren’t any major cords or typical drumming that pops along to an upbeat tempo, but what he has managed to do is capture fragments of a human experience. He emulates a down-to-earth energy that, combined with his echoed tonality, creates something refreshing and innovative.
The song “Odd Love” is a standout piece on the ten-track album. It is a love song for the realist couple who surpassed the honeymoon phase and are well into the comfortable, stay in on Fridays, granny-panty phase. A simple melody and marching tempo underscore the lyrics describing an old, odd love shared between two people. “Odd Love” is just one example of EDJ’s way of capturing a snapshot of life and realistically capturing the magic of the day-to-day.
Suspended chords throughout the album produce an ethereal feeling that take the listener away to a time when they could get higher, fall deeper in love and become, what EDJ calls, a child in the wild. The songs reflects on the pieces of everyday life and explores the idea that there is always a balance between the magical and the mundane.
Whether you are in love, moving somewhere or just looking for connection, EDJ’s album serves as a reminder that we are not alone on this crazy blue marble, but we in fact each going through the human experience together.
1. For The Boy Who Moved Away
2. Lose It All, All The Time
3. Odd Love
4. Minor Miracles
5. The Magical Parking Lot
6. Salt Licorice
7. A West County Girl
8. Mostly Just Fantasies
9. For Joy
10. Child In The Wind
11. The Mountains On Fire (In The Rearview)