A frightened rabbit freezes in front of car headlights, but Frightened Rabbit didn’t freeze when the musical spotlight was shone on them. One of the most successful Scottish bands in recent years, Frightened Rabbit were formed by two brothers, Scott and Grant Hutchison, to find worldwide acclaim with second album The Midnight Organ Fight. Scott’s heartfelt lyrics, sung in a fragile voice as if on the brink of tears, danced around romantic themes before finally finding their focus; a maneuver that won the band an army of admirers. Worldwide tours and major label backing followed, but the band started in more modest surroundings.
Frightened Rabbit was the modest pseudonym taken by singer-songwriter and guitarist Scott Hutchison as he crafted his first songs, before adding brother Grant (drums) and friend Billy Kennedy (guitar) to the line-up. First album Sing The Greys (2006) was released on local indie label Hits The Fan, and led to the band being spotted by FatCat, a bigger indie label with better contacts. FatCat re-released Sing The Greys (2007) and were able to bring it to the attention of a wider audience, while booking tours for the band across the United States and the UK.
For all the potential of Sing The Greys, it was second album The Midnight Organ Fight (2008) that took Frightened Rabbit to a new level. Widely critically acclaimed, it was a slow-burning success, as fans kept coming back to it, and more relentless touring earned the band greater and greater exposure. Songs were played on One Tree Hill and Grey’s Anatomy. “On the face of it, their product is hardly extraordinary,” The Skinny later wrote about the album, “yet, for the past year and a half, The Midnight Organ Fight by Frightened Rabbit has been the album that simply keeps on giving”.
Third album The Winter of Mixed Drinks (2010) had to take a different perspective, however. Scott described The Midnight Organ Fight as “a breakup album”, and couldn’t repeat the trick because he hadn’t had another breakup. The Winter of Mixed Drinks was also well received, and included "Swim Until You Can’t See Land", which became their biggest single to date. On the strength of Mixed Drinks the band were signed to Atlantic, one of the big four major labels and home to countless musical superstars.
The band continued to tour extensively and released two further EPs before their fourth album - their first for Atlantic - Pedestrian Verse (2013). It was also their first album to feature songwriting contributions from other members of the band, and earned more positive reviews and acclaim from fans. However, having decided that writing as a band was the way forward, Scott then decided to release a solo album, as Owl John, which was also released on Atlantic. The self-titled Owl John was released in 2014.
Frightened Rabbit group members
Scott Hutchison (vocals, guitar) (2003-present)
Grant Hutchison (drums) (2004-present)
Billy Kennedy (guitar) (2005-present)
Andy Monahan (guitar) (2008-present)
Frightened Rabbit discography
Sing The Greys (2006 / 2007)
The Midnight Organ Fight (2008)
The Winter of Mixed Drinks (2010)
A Frightened Rabbit EP (2011)
State Hospital EP (2012)
Pedestrian Verse (2013)