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Tuesday, 05 March 2013 14:14

Charting the Music: Frightened Rabbit, 'Pedestrian Verse'

Charting the Music: Frightened Rabbit, 'Pedestrian Verse' facebook.com/frightenedrabbit
Written by Paul Marsh

On "Pedestrian Verse" Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchinson gives up the lone songwriter role, allowing his bandmates to join in the creative spotlight. The result is the band's most diverse album yet.

"Pedestrian Verse" is another raw breakup album by Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit. The production here is larger-than-life but still refined; horns, strings, and layers of guitars dominate almost every track.

88.1 KDHX Chart Position: #2 CMJ Top 30 for the week of February 26, 2013.

Record label, release date, and producer: Atlantic Records released "Pedestrian Verse" on February 4, 2013. The record was produced by Leo Abrahams.

Can be heard on: Juxtaposition with Rob Levy, Gold Soundz with Chris Bay, the Mixtape with Jason Robinson.

RIYL: The National, if the "Nation" in question was Scotland.

Hometown: Selkirk, Scotland

Standout tracks: The cornerstone of the gorgeous, self-effacing opener "Acts of Man" is a piano riff so charming it could've been penned by Fiona Apple. Though it starts off humbly enough, "Dead Now" builds layers until it becomes something close to an arena rocker.

About the artist: Frightened Rabbit was originally the solo project of singer/songwriter/guitarist Scott Hutchinson, but by the time Frightened Rabbit released its debut album "Sing the Greys" in 2006, Scott's brother Grant and friend Billy Kennedy had joined the group. Later additions of Gordon Skene and Andy Monaghan brought the band to its current lineup. Frightened Rabbit has garnered a significant following in the U.S. and has toured with Death Cab for Cutie multiple times.

Play it while: Driving/Flying home on a starless night in a flying car, on your way back from the house of the nice but ultimately boring person you just broke up with.

Album art: In an interview with Seattle Weekly, Scott Hutchinson said, "I always see the artwork as being an art project in itself and that complements the music and can be as important." As Hutchinson was beginning to work on what would become "Pedestrian Verse," he wrote the words "pedestrian verse" on his notebook, to serve as a reminder to craft meaningful lyrics. The album art is a recreation of that scrawled words-on-notebook image.

Did you know?: Frightened Rabbit sent homemade biscuits, along with early demo tapes, to promoters and DJs, just to increase demand for the demos.

Recently in the news: Carrying on in the ancient tradition of sonically synonymous artists hating each other's guts (see: Blur vs. Oasis, Robert Smith vs. Morrissey), last month Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchinson slammed Mumford & Sons during an interview with Spin, accusing them of "shoveling the same sh*t."

What the critics say: "Pedestrian Verse finds Frightened Rabbit doing what every band strives for: truly evolving (here by experimenting with tone, pacing, and subject matter), all while preserving their musical strengths (chiefly, Scott Hutchison's clever lyrics and thick, deliciously accented vocals). Here, finally, is a Frightened Rabbit for all seasons: warm, buzzy tracks intersect with quieter, calmer numbers, and a few touches of the old acidic sadness, all tied together into a multi-dimensional package." Megan Ritt, Consequence of Sound

KDHX coverage: Frightened Rabbit played live in the KDHX studios on May 7, 2010.

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