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All is not lost
November 27, 2012 9:23 AM   Subscribe

The video for Frightened Rabbit's new song "State Hospital" is a powerful meditation on rape, domestic violence, suicide and what it means to be strong in the face of all of them.

Frightened Rabbit was formed in Scotland in 2003. As with "State Hospital," their work is typically melancholic and emotional: examples include "The Loneliness and the Scream," "Swim Until You Can't See Land," "Head Rolls Off," "My Backwards Walk," and the previously discussed "I Feel Better." The State Hospital EP, as well as their earlier eponymous EP, are both available on Soundcloud.

Just yesterday, they released exclusively to IFC "The Highlands Film," a 17-minute musical travelogue of their recent trip through the Scottish Highlands.

(To extend the rabbit hole just a bit deeper: If you enjoy Frightened Rabbit, you will almost certainly also enjoy their Scot-rock brethren The Twilight Sad, Twin Atlantic, Admiral Fallow and Biffy Clyro (full set from this year's iTunes Festival).)
posted by jbickers (16 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for posting this. I'm a fan, but I can't imagine how much I would have liked these guys as a moody adolescent as opposed to a 40-something father who has managed to keep a (mostly) even keel.

They also have one of the best sex-euphemism songs ever in "Fast Blood".

There's also a nice acoustic version of State Hospital.
posted by sauril at 9:32 AM on November 27, 2012


Wow, I don't know whether to open a vein, or rub one out, to all this sexy soporific grief-porn.
posted by Skygazer at 9:33 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


It must be fun for a scottishman to sing "at the foot of the fuck of it."
posted by mrgrimm at 9:47 AM on November 27, 2012


I liked Frightened Rabbit better when they were called Swell Season.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:58 AM on November 27, 2012


Brilliant stuff by all the bands mentioned. Thanks for posting this, jbickers.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:23 AM on November 27, 2012


Just saw Frabbit play live the other week, and they were amazing.

In keeping with their New Scottish Miserablist association, there's perhaps my favourite track Floating in the Forth.

And they don't sound a bit like the Swell Season; Hansard's very Irish, Frabbit so terribly Scottish.
posted by scruss at 10:27 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love Frightened Rabbit (favourite song: The Twist) and this is a pretty good tune, but, with respect, I don't see how the video is a "powerful mediation on rape, domestic violence, suicide," etc.

What I see is a vague allusion to imagined violence to add illusionary weight to what is essentially a pop song with no relation to the lived experience of trauma. I mean, what can we glean from this song except that some women (specifically blonde, pretty women) are beaten and raped and that that is sad? And to this, we say "All is not lost"? Wot?

Am I being uncharitable? Can someone help me out here?
posted by Catchfire at 10:48 AM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Am I being uncharitable?

No, you're being quite generous really .....the deepest level Scottish bands can meditate at these days is on growing a beard.

Get off my lawn and don't come back until you've all listened to the Jesus and Mary Chain 1000 times.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:54 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Am I being uncharitable? Can someone help me out here?

As the person who made the post, I clearly would say that you're being uncharitable.

I mean, what can we glean from this song except that some women (specifically blonde, pretty women) are beaten and raped and that that is sad? And to this, we say "All is not lost"? Wot?

It's the same girl/woman, at different stages in her life. The abuse starts young, and gets worse and worse, which I think you would agree is an accurate portrayal of how it often goes, and just when it's gotten so bad that she's about to end her life, she saves herself. Using the different girl at different times motif makes the "she saved herself" thing literal, but also metaphorical, and what I take away is a message that I happen to profoundly believe is true, that only we can save ourselves from situations like these.

On the other hand, it might be a soporific Rorschach test, and that's just what I get from it. I found it to be deeply moving.
posted by jbickers at 11:06 AM on November 27, 2012


just when it's gotten so bad that she's about to end her life, she saves herself

But How? Why? It's missing something (to me).

I didn't assume it was about rape either. I thought that the images of implied and overt violence might be representative of her psychotic break.

To be honest, I also had a very hard time finding a concrete narrative or "message."

I would guess I'm Not the Only Person to get it wrong. Oh wait, they're English ... a lovely Devonshire accent, tho.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:00 PM on November 27, 2012


Get off my lawn and don't come back until you've all listened to the Jesus and Mary Chain 1000 times.

Did you really just say that to me? Check the track listing on your copy of Honey's Dead and get back to me.
posted by Catchfire at 12:07 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd assume the "get off my lawn..." was aimed at contemporary Scottish bands, not you.

To which I can only say "but Sgt Serenity, what about Glasvegas?".

Or, if I'm not trolling, "what about Mogwai?".
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:02 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love Frabbit. I saw them about a year ago and it was phenomenal. My favorite song is probably "Keep Yourself Warm."

Great post!
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:01 PM on November 27, 2012


What does it mean to stay strong in the face of all of them. I'll fast forward to that point on the video if you'll let me skip past the slow-mo beauty and weeping show.
posted by surplus at 3:40 PM on November 27, 2012


my first reading of this post was

rap, domestic violence, suicide and what it means to be strong in the face of all of them.

Rap?! what's so bad about rap? it's not really related to those two other things.
posted by cupcake1337 at 7:21 PM on November 27, 2012


I've become a big fan of theirs, mostly through a number of askmes about "I like this band, what else should I listen to" and they popped up a lot.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:04 PM on November 27, 2012


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