“HEAD ROLLS OFF”
March 21, 2008
Howdy cherished programming friends! It’s Andy Gesner from HIP Video Promo bringing you a new video that will assure that March comes in like a lion! The band known as Frightened Rabbit may be proud sons of Selkirk and Glasgow, but they’re certainly no strangers to these shores. Since the release of Sing The Greys — their critically-lauded debut; they’ve become an underground favorite in America. The quartet has performed on some of NYC’s hippest stages (they’ve been regulars at Todd P’s long-running series of concert events in Brooklyn), and their compelling songs have been featured on high-profile indie-rock review sites and much-visited weblogs. When they haven’t been on national tour with Pinback or burning through SXSW, they’ve been headlining U.S. shows of their own. Many of those who’ve seen the quartet in action have compared their explosive live energy to The Arcade Fire; those who’ve fallen in love with the winsome sound of Sing The Greys have dubbed FR the heirs apparent to The Shins.
All this stateside attention has stoked anticipation for the Frightened Rabbit follow-up – and fans hoping for another set of immediate, deliriously-melodic indie rock will surely be thrilled with The Midnight Organ Fight. And this album is no simple continuation: Frightened Rabbit has opened up their sound considerably. These tracks are at once more polished and more sophisticated than anything the band has previously attempted, producer Peter Katis (Spoon, Interpol) has imparted clarity and radio-ready crispness to the mixes. This has proved doubly fruitful: not only does it call more attention to singer Scott Hutchison’s articulate, humorous, and passionately-penned lyrics, but it’s allowed the band to stretch out and experiment with different approaches. For every sharp rocker like “I Feel Better”, there’s an aching (but no less edgy) ballad like “Keep Yourself Warm”; for every statement of urgency like “Fast Blood”, there’s an ambitious, reflective piece like “Floating In The Forth”. Plainly, there are more dimensions to Frightened Rabbit than Sing The Greys hinted at, and The Midnight Organ Fight announces the arrival of an indie group to be reckoned with.
“Head Rolls Off” the lead single from The Midnight Organ Fight, demonstrates why FR has captured the attention of so many devoted music fans: the melody is undeniable, the hook is deftly-baited, the guitars chime, and Hutchison’s voice is instantly winning. His Scottish accent is pronounced and charming; his premise is clever; his diction is unimpeachable. No surprise, then, than a singer and writer this conscientious would feel at home in a classroom. Director Joe Tunmer (Pipettes, Black Dice, Emiliana Torrini, many others) shoots the band at play in an elementary school, performing to the blackboards, the familiar construction-paper wall-decorations, and the unoccupied desks. But the room isn’t empty for long: just before the first chorus, the kindergarten kids come dancing through the door. They’re well-dressed, well-scrubbed, and well-behaved, but their range of reaction is astonishing. Some join hands and skip around in a circle, some move to the music on their own, some look impassively and almost critically at the musicians, and some just stand there mesmerized. It’s adorable, certainly, but it’s also instructive. Tunmer manages to capture shorthand approximations of budding personalities, each one already distinct and focused. Every boy and girl in the class has his own entirely individual response to Frightened Rabbit’s music, and thanks to his empathetic direction, each reaction seems noble and valid. These are little indie kids of the future, forging their own personal relationships with a remarkable band and an unforgettable song.
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