A slight change of pace and style for the band doesn't make 'Death Dream' any less lovely.
Frightened Rabbit’s new single from their upcoming fifth album begins with a sense of familiarity, the piano led verse akin to Pedestrian Verse‘s opener ‘Acts of Man’ with low chords harmonising with Scott Hutchison’s higher pitched, sad vocals. Yet when the guitars break into the song, they don’t take over, instead standing in line with the other elements. That familiarity has been subverted.
Hutchison has always had a knack for including hope in his songs, not just in the lyrics (still bleak here, with the line “A still life / is the last I will see of you / my painting of a panic attack” as a choice excerpt) but through the sound of the music. Here, what could easily be a funeral march, is hopeful thanks to the layering of different, lightly played instruments. FR have clearly pulled back their sound; there’s no cathartic crescendo to be found in ‘Death Dream’, unlike with ‘Acts of Man’ and ‘Not Miserable’. It’s a wearier sound, which asks, “what comes next?”. ‘Death Dream’ is layered, melancholy, uplifiting, and different for FR, if slightly. It’s refreshing to have them back, a band committed to the miseries and uncertainties of existence, and never dull in handling them.
‘Death Dream’ is out now via Atlantic Records