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Album Review

Frightened Rabbit – Painting Of A Panic Attack


‘Painting…’ captures the intensity of personal experience.

Label: Atlantic Records
Released: 8th April 2016

Rating: ★★★★

With ‘Painting Of A Panic Attack’, Frightened Rabbit continue the realist themes and darker folk sounds we’ve come to expect from the band, while creating their most polished and varied album yet. The minimalist, vocal-oriented moments and contrasting, catchier indie songs found on the last record have been replaced with a consistently darker, more subdued sound.

“I have a long list of tepid disappointments,” Scott Hutchison sings during ‘An Otherwise Disappointing Life’, summing up the record’s mood of wistfulness and regret. There are no niceties here; the chilling, piano introduction and bleak imagery of ‘Death Dream’ sleepily drifting off to a haunting conclusion.

‘Get Out’ – destined to be a future highlight of live shows – is a determined and purposeful lead single, packed with snaring drums and a strong, simple chorus. It’s a sound that emphasises the subject matter: the intensity of love.

An honest account of alcoholism, ‘I Wish I Was Sober’ is a sombre affair compared to its follower ‘Woke Up Hurting’, sounding surprisingly jovial for a hangover song. “If I bend then I might not break” suggests a further step towards hopefulness in ‘Break’, mirrored in its uplifting melody and increase in tempo.

Frightened Rabbit have never been ones to hold back on the struggles of real life. They write about universal topics, capturing the intensity of personal experience and, whether it’s a line or a whole song, there’s always something comforting to be found. Kathryn Black