EDJ stands for Eric D. Johnson, former frontman for the Chicago Band Fruit Bats. “West County Girl,” from his recently released, self-titled album, isn’t too far afield from the kind of soft-focus ’70s rock Johnson explored with Fruit Bats, but there’s something more hypnotic, more trancelike about it. Johnson sings the title again and again, his soft tenor at times recalling Arthur Russell, while the music blinks softly behind him — layered backing vocals, handclaps, far-off, miragelike guitars. The accompanying video is similarly dreamlike: Johnson dons a custom-made Rhinestone suit, a white van is decked out like a campaign bus and drives around New York, its purpose mysterious and unclear. The video’s humorous twist ending explains things somewhat, but an air of the surreal lingers long after the song is finished.
[EDJ is out now on Easy Sound Records]