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Sometimes a Cloud Is Just a Cloud: Slow Growers, Sleeper Hits and Lost Songs (2001–2021)
Fruit Bats
Merge Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
January 28, 2022
  • Vinyl 2×LP, Coloured Vinyl

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    Pink & Violet Swirl

    • 23 songs in all including demos and previously unreleased tracks
    • Gatefold jacket with liner notes by Eric D. Johnson
    • White dust sleeves Includes digital download card

Thoughtfully compiled by Eric D. Johnson himself, this Fruit Bats double-vinyl retrospective is split in two distinct halves. Set in reverse chronological order, the first disc cherry-picks from Fruit Bats’ official releases, including fan favourites—“Humbug Mountain Song” from 2016’s Absolute Loser and “The Bottom of It” from his 2019 Merge debut Gold Past Life—alongside some of Johnson’s more personal choices like “Glass in Your Feet” from his 2001 debut Echolocation.

If the first disc of this set is “the collection that you buy for your friend that’s Fruit Bats–curious,” according to Johnson, the second disc is for longtime fans that want a deeper dive into Fruit Bats lore. To put this half of Sometimes a Cloud Is Just a Cloud together, Johnson dug into several hard drives’ worth of material. Included here are lovely early versions of “Rainbow Sign” and “The Old Black Hole,” recorded to a Tascam 4-track just as Fruit Bats was becoming a reality. There’s also a rambling take on the Steve Miller Band’s classic rock mainstay “The Joker,” and some wonderful never-before-heard original tunes. Two of the most exciting tracks are “WACS” and “When the Stars Are Out,” both recorded during the sessions for 2011’s The Tripper. The former is a standout for an appearance by Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis who applies a perfect psych-soul solo to the mix. The latter features another special guest, the late, great Richard Swift on piano.

All physical formats include a download.


  1. Rips Me Up
  2. The Bottom of It
  3. Cazadera
  4. Humbug Mountain Song
  5. Absolute Loser
  6. The Rock Doc
  7. You're Too Weird
  8. Flamingo
  9. Born in the '70s (Live in Portland)
  10. When U Love Somebody (Live at Spacebomb)
  11. Glass in Your Feet
  12. Without Any Airs
  13. Barely Living Room (Demo)
  14. Baby Bluebird (Waltz Demo)
  15. Hot Dogs
  16. WACS
  17. When the Stars Are Out
  18. Aces
  19. The Joker
  20. Feather Bed (Demo)
  21. Goodnight Sun & Hello Moon
  22. Rainbow Sign (4-Track Demo)
  23. The Old Black Hole (4-Track Demo)

Fruit Bats

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