Frightened Rabbit: Pedestrian Verse

-- By KCRW Music Librarian and Host, Eric J. Lawrence

Scottish quintet Frightened Rabbit have always impressed me.  Their 2006 uber-indie debut, Sing the Greys, while more ragged and angular than their records have matured into, struck me immediately, leading me to make their performance at that year’s SXSW conference my first stop at that year’s event.  When all was said and done, they put on the most memorable show of the whole week, and they managed to repeat that achievement the following year as well.  By that time they had been picked up by Fat Cat and had received wider distribution with their next two records, The Midnight Organ Fight and The Winter of Mixed Drinks (clearly they have a knack with album titles).  With each year’s passing, they have expanded their fan base, from their circle of friends in their hometown of Selkirk, Scotland to an international audience introduced to them by discriminating radio stations (wink, wink!)

Pedestrian Verse retains in full the intimate, rustic but relatable character of their prior releases.  But the scale seems to be larger, with some of the new songs reaching for the same epic heights as the best of U2 or Mumford and Sons.  The trick is that while leader Scott Hutchison invests some serious emotional content in the songs, delivered in his distinctive Scottish brogue, they are without a note of falsity or artificiality.  These songs are personal and literate, and that’s what makes them so powerful and memorable.  Pedestrian Verse is the product of the whole band working in unison, and has set them up for a breakout year.

Pedestrian Verse will be available to stream on demand from Monday, February 4 through February 11, 2013.