(Charity!) Single Review: Frightened Rabbit – No Real Life

By on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Over their five studio albums to date, Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit and their emotionally-charged music, described by Ryan Leas of Stereogum as “the kind of music that demands a fair amount of emotional investment from the listener,” have wowed fans all over the world. In his impassioned vocals, Scott Hutchison lays out raw, painful emotions for all to hear. It isn’t surprising, and sadly so, to learn that someone who can pour that much feeling and sorrow himself suffers from mental illness, something that has spilled out of Hutchison on social media. He admitted in this illuminating interview with Luke Ottenhof of On the A Side last spring, “Sometimes I wish I had a better mode of communication for when I’m feeling depressed, anxious, any of those things, but it tends to just work itself out into a song. That’s the way it’s always been for me.”

Knowing his personal history, it is wonderfully inspiring that Hutchison is willing to speak publicly about his struggles and has gotten involved with raising awareness and money for mental health causes. In 2011, along with James Graham of The Twilight Sad, Emma Pollock of The Delgados and other local musicians, Hutchison was part of The Fruit Tree Foundation, a Scottish music project that released the album ‘First Edition’, written and recorded during an intensive collaborative workshop in Perthshire. Fifty percent of the album’s proceeds go towards Scottish charity The Mental Health Foundation.

This past holiday season, Frightened Rabbit revealed a new single, also to raise money for a mental illness charity. ‘No Real Life’ premiered on Christmas Day, its words chronicling the thoughts that can go on inside the confused mind of a patient with dementia, often caused by the chronic, progressive neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease. Hutchison’s vocals of “I see light in the crack of the doorway / that extra-terrestrial glow / so cocoon my body, transport me / I don’t care to live in this world anymore” document the quiet desperation of a sufferer for the pain and confusion to end.

The gentle instrumental folk rock feel throughout the song marries well with the sombre subject matter. When Hutchison’s voice is joined by those of his bandmates in an ethereal harmony, a sense of peace and calm is achieved. ‘No Real Life’ is a moving, respectful acknowledgement to those in the grip of dementia, a disease we must keep fighting to cure.

8/10

Frightened Rabbit have encouraged their fans to donate to Alzheimer Scotland, who offer services to assist people with dementia, their carers and their families. Like cancer, dementia is an illness that has touched virtually everyone and their loved ones. Particularly around the holidays, it can be a difficult time when someone you love is suffering from a condition for which there is yet no cure. We encourage all to consider this worthy charity and to donate what you can to ensuring in the band’s words, “With your help, their aim is to make sure that nobody in this country faces dementia alone.” To read more of TGTF’s past coverage on Frightened Rabbit, go here.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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