Tuesday, August 26, 2014

B-Side Worship: Frightened Rabbit - "Boxing Night"

Frightened Rabbit – “Boxing Night”
"State Hospital" EP, 2012
As much as I love Frightened Rabbit (which is a whole fucking lot), I’ve always found their b-sides to be a little throwaway…which is sort of the whole essence of a b-side, so no harm done. But “Boxing Night,” from the State Hospital EP is a marvelous exception. The picture Scott Hucthison paints of the day after Christmas is perfect, and with pure Frightened Rabbit (read: Scottish) glumness:

Boxing night
I celebrate in style, in boxer shorts and spirits
Floor littered with ghosts of bottles past
There’s a naked hush, clothed only in breath and a pulse
Of a heart that is kicking as though it is desperate to be born

Jesus Christ.

Good Glasgow could burn to its timber tonight, I’d barely blink an eye.

Hutchison’s songwriting is prized for his brutal understanding of agony, and the lilt of this song almost feels like a sick joke. It’s fantastic. Absolutely terrific. The little acoustic guitar line that runs through this track practically bounces. The choruses swell into these big, optimistic triumphs with ethereal backing vocals and a glorious sense of fulfillment. Somehow, Hutchison has found a way to be bleak without being depressing, and maybe that’s one of the reasons why he’s one of the best songwriters out there.

Hutchison recently released his first solo effort under the moniker Owl John and it's morose and terrific. I've been wallowing in it for the last month. Review forthcoming. Here's one of my favorite tracks, "Los Angeles, Be Kind."

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