It’s always a pleasant feeling when a band you’re fond of drop a surprise EP. A couple of weeks ago, earnest, anthemic Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit released a self-titled 3 song EP, and the band’s warm, intimate sound meant the release was perfectly timed with the arrival of winter in the UK. Well, the EP was available to newsletter subscribers back in July, but it’s now available for a free download, with vinyl on the way.
The EP kicks off with ‘Scottish Wind’, a live recording of which surfaced earlier this year. It’s a thumping, slow burning track, which carries on in a similar songwriting vein to last year’s warmly received The Winter of Mixed Drinks. The eloquently titled “Fuck This Place” belies its bitter moniker, shifting into so-so, vaguely distorted anthemics.
It’s final track “The Work” that really shines however. Frightened Rabbit suffer from being blustery a lot of the time, and I’ve always found them at their most enjoyable when they pull back for a minute, and Scott Hutchinson is allowed to just have a moment to himself. The song is a wonderful male vocal duet between Hutchinson and Archie Fisher, a Scottish folk songwriter in his 70s. In the chorus, the two wonder “When the work stops working, and the weight becomes an ache, when the work stops working, shall we pack it all in? Or start again?” It’s just a little bit breathtaking hearing two voices at different ends of a human life earnestly crooning the same perennial question – what’s the point of it all? There aren’t enough male vocal duets in indie music these days, but this one is enchanting enough to tide us over for a while.
Frightened Rabbit // The Work [mp3]