My love for Frightened Rabbit and Scott Hutchinson’s lyrics were well documented on my previous article explaining why their third album, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, was so special. But it is this song from the bands previous album ‘The Midnight Organ Flight’ that really struck a chord with me the first time I heard it. In my opinion it is one of the most brutally honest break-up songs ever written and is fast becoming one of my favourite songs of all time. It comes from a similar emotional place that garnered Bon Iver’s ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ so much attention around the same time. But instead of being conceived in a remote cabin in Wisconsin, it was the salubrious surroundings of Glasgow where this song came to fruition.
From the word go the song engages the listener with its wince inducing opening line “Poke at my iris, why can’t I cry about this?” as Hutchinson brilliantly describes the pain and resentment that breeds in a relationship that is beyond saving (“We adopt a brand new language, communicate through pursed lips, and you try not to put on any sexy clothes or graces” ). As the song progresses all the emotion is laid bare with compelling honesty, as the emotion swings from graphic descriptions of how the love should die, but with contrastingly candid and nostalgic memories that made it so good in the first place. His voice is fragile yet filled with a warm Celtic glow that adds a vulnerable sincerity to his delivery. The simple guitar lines that underlay the soul-bearing lyrics on the verses are swelled by chiming guitars and a beautifully understated Organ on the songs wordless chorus, where Hutchinson’s falsetto voice sings the stunning melodic hook that the song circles around.
As the song heads towards closure there are still elements of regret (“Should look through some old photos, I adored you in every one of those”) but with the almost triumphant sounding line of ”Now we’re unrelated and rid of all the shit we hated” the song takes a final turn with the helpless and poignant sentiment of ”I hate when i feel like this, and I never hated you”.
It is obvious how much the song means to Hutchinson based on the emotional delivery on every live clip that features on youtube and its easy to understand why thats the case. It’s a beautiful song, wonderfully executed, and anyone who has experienced heartbreak will find something to relate to here.
My previous article on Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks – Album Review can be found here - http://fyferant.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/albums-to-embrace-frightened-rabbit-the-winter-of-mixed-drinks/