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Playing clever but purposefully naïve pop in the manner of the Vaselines, the Twilight Sad, and the Clean, Frightened Rabbit sound a good bit bolder than their moniker would suggest, though it suits their lively but nervous musical personality. Frightened Rabbit was founded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2004, when guitarist Scott Hutchison and his brother Grant, a percussionist who -- like his sibling -- prefers to keep his last name a secret, began recording demos of songs they had written. Encouraged by friends and family, the brothers added a second guitarist, their friend Billy, and the trio began making the rounds of Glasgow's pubs and music venues. Slowly but surely gaining a reputation for their music, Frightened Rabbit began work on their first album, initially planning to record at the home studio where they'd done their original demos but eventually opting to record at Glasgow's Diving Bell Studio with Marcus Mackay instead.
Frightened Rabbit released Sing the Greys through their own label, Hits the Fan Records, in mid-2006. Reviews were enthusiastic, and Universal picked up the disc for distribution in the U.K. and the U.S. through the independent label Fat Cat. The group's reputation enjoyed a considerable boost in America after they played a well-received showcase at the 2007 South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, and the U.S. release of Sings only increased Frightened Rabbit's popularity. The band's sophomore release, Midnight Organ Flight, arrived in April 2008. Keyboard player Andy Monaghan was added to the lineup shortly before the release of the album. The live album Quietly Now!, also known as Liver! Lung! FR!, appeared in 2009; meanwhile the band was working on its third studio album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, which introduced fifth bandmember Gordon Skene. A lush, uplifting set of songs, The Winter of Mixed Drinks arrived early in 2010. A Frightened Rabbit EP was released in July 2011 and was only available on their subsequent tour (the band later made the EP available for their newsletter subscribers and as a limited 7). In preparation for their fourth album, they released the EP State Hospital in September 2012, featuring a guest appearance by Aidan Moffat. The first release through Atlantic Records -- the major label the band left Fat Cat for in 2010 -- the EP harked back to the lyrical prowess of their earlier material, which proved to be a taster for Pedestrian Verse, the full-length which arrived in February 2013. Produced by Leo Abrahams, the album was a triumph, full of affecting, often anthemic material.
Frightened Rabbit is a Scottish indie rock band from Selkirk, formed in 2003. The line-up currently consists of Scott Hutchison (vocals, guitar), Grant Hutchison (drums), Billy Kennedy (guitar, bass) and Andy Monaghan (guitar, keyboards). Since 2004 the band has been based in Glasgow.
Initially a solo project for vocalist and guitarist Scott Hutchison, Frightened Rabbit's first studio album, Sing the Greys, was recorded as a duo by Hutchison and his brother Grant, and released on independent label, Hits the Fan, in 2006. The band subsequently signed to Fat Cat Records, in 2007, and became a three-piece with the addition of guitarist Billy Kennedy for its second studio album, The Midnight Organ Fight (2008). The album was released to strongly positive reviews and extensive touring, with guitarist and keyboardist Andy Monaghan joining the band to flesh-out its live performances.
The band's third studio album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, was released in 2010, with former Make Model guitarist Gordon Skene joining the band for its accompanying tour. Frightened Rabbit signed to Atlantic Records later that year, and issued two EPs, A Frightened Rabbit EP (2011) and State Hospital (2012), before the release of its fourth studio album, Pedestrian Verse in 2013. A critical and commercial success in the UK, the album peaked at number nine on the UK Albums Chart.
Disillusioned from touring, Hutchison, Monaghan and touring member Simon Liddell recorded a studio album without the band, entitled Owl John (2014). Gordon Skene departed from the band in early 2014.about 8 hours ago (16 June 2009). "About". Frightened Rabbit. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
ContentsHistory1.1 Formation and first years (2003–2006)1.2 Sing the Greys (2006–2007)1.3 The Midnight Organ Fight (2008–2009)1.4 The Winter of Mixed Drinks (2010)1.5 Signing to Atlantic and A Frightened Rabbit EP (2010–2012)1.6 Pedestrian Verse (2013)1.7 Owl John and Gordon Skene's departure (2014–present)
Formation and first years (2003–2006)
In 2003, vocalist and guitarist Scott Hutchison used the name Frightened Rabbit, which came from a name his mother gave him in his youth due to his chronic shyness, as a stage moniker for his solo shows. The project became a full-fledged band with the addition of his brother Grant Hutchison on drums in 2004, and guitarist Billy Kennedy in 2006. During early shows, the band would give out their email address for those interested in receiving a free demo. After a time during which few demos were sent out, Scott said that he would send out biscuits with the music, which led to a rise in requests for the demo. This led to a lasting impression with the recipients.
I'd send them to the U.S. and stuff, and they'd turn up as bags of crumbs, but I think it's still something that people will remember. I don't know, I suppose it was just one of those little things that people will remember, rather than making it disposable and forgettable.
Sing the Greys (2006–2007)
The band released their debut album Sing the Greys in May 2006 on local label, Hits The Fan. The band was offered a deal from Fiction Records but ultimately the label withdrew their offer. In January 2007, The Self-Starter Foundation brought the band to the East Coast of the United States for a short tour. The band returned to the United States in March to play SXSW. Brighton indie label Fat Cat Records released a remixed/remastered version of the album in the USA in October 2007, distributed by Caroline Distribution. The band then embarked on a full American tour. The album was released in the UK in November 2007.
The Midnight Organ Fight (2008–2009)
Earlier in 2007, the band had recorded a new album, The Midnight Organ Fight at producer Peter Katis's Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This album was released 15 April 2008.
After recording The Midnight Organ Fight, the current quartet line-up was completed with the addition of guitarist/keyboardist Andy Monaghan of Piano Bar Fight (who have previously played as support to Frightened Rabbit). In an interview, Scott mentions that he "met him on New Year's Eve, in Glasgow, in a bar. I was really hammered and I was like 'why don't you come and play some shows with us man?' and he was like 'Yeah!'. The next day, I got a text like 'Do you remember… did you say something about this or is it my imagination?'".
The band supported Death Cab for Cutie during their November 2008 UK & Irish tour, and released a live album, Quietly Now! in October.
The Winter of Mixed Drinks (2010)
Whilst touring in support of The Midnight Organ Fight, Scott Hutchison noted that he was "excited at the prospect of being in the studio again," and that stated that he "can't do another break-up album 'cause I haven't had one this year! Maybe it'll just be a little less focused on me".
Hutchison subsequently announced plans to head to Crail, Fife to write material for the band's third studio album:
The theme I'm going for is pushing yourself out to the edge of things and being alone, feeling lost and not knowing where you are, which is how I've felt recently. It's not all fun and games, but hopefully it'll just be less obviously personal and brutal than the last record. Less oppressive.
In May 2009, a video appeared online of Hutchison performing a new track, entitled "Swim Until You Can't See Land". The song was later revealed as the first single from the forthcoming third album.
In October 2009, the band members unveiled the album's title, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, and announced the arrival of a fifth band member, Gordon Skene (formerly of Make Model). According to Scott Hutchison:
A lot of the new record is heavily layered and it felt like too much for the four of us to do. We need another member to get them at their full impact. I dunno, we're kind of bored of each other. We just need to add some fresh meat.
The Winter of Mixed Drinks was released in March 2010.
The band made their US television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on 25 May 2010, performing "Nothing Like You". In June 2010, they appeared on The A.V. Club covering The Lemonheads. On 12 October 2010, the television crime drama Detroit 1-8-7 featured the song "Yes I Would." The first single from the album, "Swim Until You Can't See Land" was also used in the trailer for the 2010 movie, "The Beaver". They have also been chosen personally by Belle & Sebastian to perform at their second Bowlie Weekender festival, presented by All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK in December 2010. Again, the band supported Death Cab for Cutie during their 2011 North American tour.
Signing to Atlantic and A Frightened Rabbit EP (2010–2012)
A Frightened Rabbit EP was released on 28 July 2011 and was available exclusively on their subsequent tour. On 19 October 2011, the EP was released as a free download to subscribers to the band's newsletter, with the announcement of a limited-run vinyl being available for pre-order. The songs on the album are Scottish Winds, Fuck This Place, and The Work.
In addition to Frightened Rabbit, Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell contributes vocals on "Fuck This Place". Archie Fisher sings on "The Work".
In 2010, Hutchison wrote, recorded and performed with The Fruit Tree Foundation, appearing on its debut album, First Edition.
Pedestrian Verse (2013)
On 6 December 2011, Clash Music reported that Frightened Rabbit were planning to record their fourth album, and Scott Hutchison states, "it's written, essentially," noting that they are on the production stage. Scott states, "We're experimenting with minor keys, which is actually new for us," remarking upon the idea of a new sound. The band announced that on 1 May 2012 they would start recording the fourth album.
The fourth album will also mark the first time for the band that it is not Scott Hutchison alone with the task of songwriting, with Hutchison saying that "it's done nothing but benefit the new songs." The album is expected to be released early in 2013, preceded by an EP, entitled State Hospital, featuring Scottish vocalist Aidan Moffat, released 25 September 2012.
On tour in 2012 for support of State Hospital, Scott announced that the album would be released in February 2013. In November 2012, Frightened Rabbit announced the name of their new album, Pedestrian Verse, via their official Facebook page. Released to widespread critical acclaim, the band embarked upon an extensive tour in support of the album.
Owl John and Gordon Skene's departure (2014–present)
Regarding a forthcoming fifth studio album, Hutchison noted in October 2013: "We're going to have to start thinking about the next record after this tour. We've done a lot of writing in Scotland, but it would be good to shift it up a gear and get out of the comfort zone, away from what we're used to, and over [in America] would be good for that. So the only worry, especially on the West Coast and California, is the effect that may have on my writing, and whether I would be all happy and full of vitamins."
In January 2014, Scott Hutchison revealed plans to record a solo album, stating: "With Pedestrian Verse being more collaborative, I said I’d never write a Frightened Rabbit record in the way I used to, which is true. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to write any records like that. It’s going to be really pleasant to go back to that way of working, where I sit around and do stuff myself." Both keyboardist and guitarist Andy Monaghan and touring member Simon Liddell collaborated with Scott on the project, which was later named Owl John.
On 25 March 2014, Gordon Skene departed the band owing to "differing opinions" with the four other members. The band wrote on Facebook: "There is no more to tell other than sometimes things just don’t work out and when people have differing opinions often the best option is to simply part ways and get on with life separately."David Marchese (25 January 2010). "How They Became... Frightened Rabbit". Spin.com. Retrieved 27 March 2012. "Frightened Rabbit – "Sing the Greys"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2006. "The shy boy, the biscuit bribes and a trail of crumbs that led to a major record deal: the strange tale of Frightened Rabbit". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 20 January 2013. "FatCat Records : News". Fat-cat.co.uk. Retrieved 8 November 2009. "FatCat Records : Releases". Fat-cat.co.uk. Retrieved 8 November 2009. "Peter Katis". Tarquinrecords.com. Retrieved 8 November 2009. ""There's a song about throwing yourself off the Forth Road Bridge. I've thought about it before."". The Pop Cop. 27 August 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2009. Thane, Rich (17 January 2008). "Frightened Rabbit get 'pretty fucking dirty' on new album | The Line of Best Fit". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 8 November 2009.  "FatCat Records : News". Fat-cat.co.uk. Retrieved 8 November 2009. "Pitchfork: Frightened Rabbit to Release Live Album". Pitchforkmedia.com. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2009. Cite error: The named reference godisinthetvzine.co.uk was invoked but never defined (see the help page). The Skinny:Issue 39 pg. 35 Qmunicate: Issue 66, Down the Rabbit Hole, pg. 11 "Episode No. 5: Frightened Rabbit | Off The Beaten Tracks". Offthebeatentracks.tv. Retrieved 8 November 2009. ""I didn't make the album I wanted to last time – I had to exorcise that feeling"". The Pop Cop. 17 October 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009. Padgett, Ray (6 December 2012). "Frightened Rabbit Bum You Out on Lemonheads Cover " Cover Me". Covermesongs.com. Retrieved 15 December 2012. "ABC.com – Music Lounge Home". Abc.go.com. Retrieved 15 December 2012. "A Frightened Rabbit EP". frightenedrabbit.com. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012. "Frightened Rabbit release free three-song EP". avclub.com. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012. Innes, Kirstin (22 September 2010). "Fruit Tree Foundation launches new album tackling themes of mental health". The List. Retrieved 15 December 2012. "Frightened Rabbit Talk Fourth Album". clashmusic.com. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012. "Dark Matters". heraldscotland.com. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Smith, Kelly. "Interview: Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit". list.co.uk. Retrieved 21 October 2013. http://thepopcop.co.uk/2014/01/scott-hutchison-unveils-solo-album-plans-id-like-it-to-be-a-bit-more-claustrophobic-and-more-intimate-than-frightened-rabbit/ "Band member departs Frightened Rabbit". The Targe. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
Concerning the band's line-up, Scott Hutchison noted in 2008: "The initial lineup in Frightened Rabbit was just myself. I had really only been messing with my 4 track for about 6 months before I started playing some shows on my own. Some of the songs still didn't have words and I was mostly just mumbling nonsense half the time. Grant joined a year later, making the outfit much noisier. Billy came along about 6 months after this and actually made it a bit less noisy. He's very calming like that is Billy. Andy has been in the band since January, and adds all the extra details we were missing before. Still not sure if we're finished gathering members".
In 2009, Make Model band member Gordon Skene joined Frightened Rabbit, playing their first live show with Skene on 6 November 2009. His departure from the band was announced on 25 March 2014.
Band membersScott Hutchison – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (2003—present)Grant Hutchison – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2004—present)Billy Kennedy – guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2005—present)Andy Monaghan – guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, (2008—present)
Past Band MembersGordon Skene – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2009—2014)
Live membersSimon Liddell – additional live instrumentation (2013–present) "God Is in the TV | Frightened Rabbit". Godisinthetvzine.co.uk. Retrieved 8 November 2009. "Make Model Member Joins Frightened Rabbit". Retrieved 1 June 2012. Cite error: The named reference skeneleaves was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Exclusive: Frightened Rabbit reveal title of third album, add new member | The Pop Cop}
Frightened Rabbit have done extensive work with Invisible Children music coalition project, going on tour with them in 2011. They performed songs for them, including a cover of the Death Cab For Cutie song, "Different Names for the Same Thing", as well as performing the song "Scottish Winds", from their new EP. At the end of the tour, they auctioned off the guitar they played during the tour, signed by the members, and the proceeds went to the Invisible Children corporation. They are currently participating in a fund raiser for Invisible Children, their goal being to raise $2,500."On Tour With Frightened Rabbit: A Photo Essay". blog.invisiblechildren.com. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012. "Frightened Rabbit Covers Death Cab For Cutie for Invisible Children". blog.invisiblechildren.com. Retrieved 8 January 2012. "Frightened Rabbit 'Scottish Winds' Acoustic For Invisible Children". blog.invisiblechildren.com. Retrieved 8 January 2012. "EXCLUSIVE: Frightened Rabbit Video Premiere and eBay Auction". blog.invisiblechildren.com. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012. "Frightened Rabbit A Team Fundraising Page Benefiting Invisible Children". stayclassy.org. Retrieved 8 January 2012.