A's, The "Fruit" LP (2022)
Details: The A's "Fruit" LP (2022, Psychic Hotline). Black vinyl version, new stock, sealed.
Description: "Across the record, the A’s employ a bizarre-o ghost orchestra of strange noises that are percussive and melodic. The credits include nylon shorts, string (singular), hair, shoes, ice chunk, gravel, frog sample, and shoelace, among other unexpected makeshift instrumentation. The backing band is built out by a more traditional group of players: saxophone from Sam Gendel on “Copper Kettle,” backing vocals from Jenn Wasner (Flock of Dimes, Wye Oak) on “When I Die,” string arrangements from Gabriel Kahane on “He Needs Me,” and more.
Fruit is made up simply of songs the A’s love to sing – there are lullabies and love songs; “He Needs Me,” written by Harry Nilsson and first released by Shelley Duvall in the 1980 Popeye film; traditional ballads like “Swing and Turn Jubilee,” “Copper Kettle” and closer “Buckeye Jim,” a multiplying song about frogs and nature. The sole original track to appear on the album is the penultimate “When I Die,” written by Meath. It contains both wishes and instructions for the celebration of her death, a low synth bubbling beneath Sauser-Monnig and Meath’s voices.
It’s a collection of ten seemingly incongruous songs, but with the throughline of Sauser-Monnig and Meath’s vocals and sense of humor working in tandem, they fit together into a cosmic yodeling-folk masterpiece. Fruit feels like blowing the dust off a precious artifact of decades past, but also winking and modern. Sauser-Monnig sums up their ethos on the project succinctly: “If it doesn’t make you cackle or cry, it doesn’t belong.”
Grade: M (new stock)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A1. He Needs Me
A2. Swing and Turn Jubilee
A3. Wedding Dress
A4. Why I'm Grieving
A5. When The Bloom Is On the Sage
TRACK LISTING SIDE B:
B1. My Poncho Pony 01:24
B2. Go To Sleep My Darling Baby 03:07
B3. Copper Kettle
B4. When I Die
B5. Buckeye Jim