Frightened Rabbit came into my life over 3 years ago during my freshman year of college at SUNY University at Albany. A friend of mine, Olivia, introduced me to the band. Olivia is from Bristol, England where there is a large amount of UK indie-rock bands that seem to be all anyone is listening to.
Frightened Rabbit is a Scottish indie-rock band originated from Selkirk, Scotland and was formed in 2003. Since 2004 the band has been based in Glasgow. The group consists of Scott Hutchison (vocals/guitar), Grant Hutchison (drums), Bill Kennedy (guitar/bass), Andy Monaghan (guitar/keyboards), and Simon Liddell (guitar). Guitarist Scott Hutchison used the name Frightened Rabbit, which came from a name his mother game him in his youth due to his chronic shyness.
The band was formed by the Hutchison brothers (Scott and Grant), who were recording demos and had decided to add band member/friend, Billy Kennedy. After playing at various pubs around Glasgow and developing a better reputation, Frightened Rabbit decided to record their first album originally planning to record at their home studio. However, they opted to record at Glasgow’s Diving Bell Studio with Marcus Mackay.
Frightened Rabbit released their first studio album, Sing the Greys, through their own independent label, Hits the Fan Records, in mid-2006. Receiving rave reviews, Universal decided to pick up the disc for distribution in the U.K. and the U.S. through the independent label, Fat Cat. The group’s fame rose in the American eye when they played a well-received showcase at the 2007 South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas.
The bands second album, Midnight Organ Flight, arrived in April 2008 with the addition of their keyboard player, Andy Monaghan. The album was released with strongly positive reviews and an extensive touring schedule that drove them even further in the fame sector.
All the while, Frightened Rabbit was working out welcoming their fifth band member Gordon Skene (no longer with the band), while working on their third studio album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks. The album released in 2010 and later that year, Frightened Rabbit signed to Atlantic Records and issued two EPs, A Frightened Rabbit EP, and State Hospital, before the release of its fourth studio album, Pedestrian Verse (in 2013). The band made their US television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in mid 2010, performing “Nothing Like You.” The album peaked at number nine on the UK Albums Chart, with additional guitarist, Simon Liddel, joining the band on the tour.
Taking a break from touring, Hutchison, Monaghan, and Liddel, recorded a studio album without the band, titled Owl John (2014). Gordon Skene departed from the band in early 2014, and they recorded their fifth studio album the following year with Liddell joining the band as a full-time member.
Drawing inspiration from their roots, Hutchison’s music (especially so in Owl John), relates back to the issues of drugs and depression in their hometown of Glasgow, an issue that is consistently worsening. In doing so, the band has brought much attention to the issue that is often swiped under the rug.
Frightened Rabbit announced via social media their fifth album, Painting of a Panic Attack, would be released on 8 April 2016. The band followed the album news with an album trailer showcasing album track ‘Lump Street’, and UK/US tour announcement on 23 February.
Below is my favorite Frightened Rabbit song, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
Album: The Winter of Mixed Drinks