Frightened Rabbit will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. The band is performing at Knitting Factory later that evening and we have tickets for sale here at the store! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!
Be one of the first 25 people to purchase Frightened Rabbit’s new album Pedestrian Verse and get a free ticket to the Knit show!
ABOUT FRIGHTENED RABBIT
From a Scottish sitcom about a larky soldier who’s served in Iraq. A break-up, his own usually – a recurring theme, it seems, judging by the incisive, compelling accounts of heartache sprinkled through Frightened Rabbit’s three previous albums, Sing The Greys (2006), The Midnight Organ Fight (2008) and The Winter Of Mixed Drinks (2010). A shit family Christmas that only got worse come Boxing Day. Or from a roomful of American fans mainlining a long-lost Celtic connection while also hoovering up a powerful British indie-rock band with a folk heart and a soulful love of their heritage. Frightened Rabbit are proudly Scottish, and adored on native soil, but their songs also seem to take on greater resonance and power the further from home they travel.
Ideas might have come on any one of the ten or so US tours undertaken by the band, each bigger, noisier, rowdier, more special than the last – there aren’t many British bands who can match Frightened Rabbit, formed by this thoughtful former art student nine years ago, for the level and intensity of their American success. Or they can come via a hero peer on the Scottish music scene, in this case onetime Arab Strap dipso-poet Aidan Moffat.
Or Hutchison will take inspiration from the shortcomings he himself sees in the songs he wrote for his band’s last album.
“With ‘The Winter Of Mixed Drinks’ and what I tried to do there…” begins Frightened Rabbit’s founding member and singer, “…and the things about that I didn’t like that I wanted to make better this time… The last record was purposefully open and vague in its imagery. But I wanted to write dense poetic songs again. And that was a kick off into State Hospital.”
In early 2012, the five-piece was ready to make their fourth album. But their producer of choice wasn’t available, and Hutchison was kicking his heels. And that, too, fed into a song. “Home From War” was partly catalysed by the original pilot for ‘Gary Tank Commander,’ a Scottish comedy that has gone on to become a cult show north of the border.
“He’s a guy back from Iraq and he’s just bouncing about, he’s got nothing to do, doesn’t know what to do with his life any more. ’Cause he’s been structured and regimented for that amount of time. It’s really funny but I found it quite interesting and sad.”
Suitably inspired, and rather than sit on their hands, the band hired a house in Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands and trucked a load of instruments and studio gear up from Glasgow. They then spent three weeks writing and playing and recording and writing and playing some more.
Three songs were immediate keepers: “Home From War,” inspired by that aimless squaddie, a Pixies-meets-Coldplay giant that’s sure to become a live favourite; “Off,” an intimate, chorally atmospheric tune written in one quick afternoon; and “Wedding Gloves,” a yarn about a couple who try to rekindle love by digging out and putting on their matrimonial garb. It’s narrated by Moffat, to whom Hutchison entrusted the writing of the verses.
“He totally got what I wanted,” beams Hutchison, who finagled the ex-Arab Strap man’s involvement via a drunken, late-night email. “He said to me, ‘Right, you want me to be a sexual Yoda?’ I was like, ‘Aye, if you like!’”
Come May 2012, Frightened Rabbit’s producer was finally available. Leo Abrahams was Brian Eno’s assistant for 11 years, so on top of being a great guitar player, he’s a man well-versed in free-thinking. “He was definitely up for shaking things up, and he has plenty of soul and understanding” – all perfect qualities for the band’s new songs and fresh perspective.
A month in Monnow Valley studio in Wales did the job. The EP’s opening two songs, “State Hospital” and “Boxing Day” – the latter a mordant yet defiant account of that Yule hell – have been pulled from those sessions.
Only “State Hospital” appears on Pedestrian Verse. The bulk of the other songs “have a different atmosphere” from the remaining new songs on the EP. “I don’t know how to describe it… I mean, we did consider them all for the album, but they just didn’t work. But I was really fond of what we got out of those three weeks of creative freedom.”