Home > News & Reviews > Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit - Tiny Changes: A Celebration of The Midnight Organ Fight (Album Review)

Thursday, 18 July 2019 Written by Huw Baines

Our assorted relationships with the songs we love are destined to change dramatically over time. But not always like this.

‘Tiny Changes’, an all star reimagining of Frightened Rabbit’s majestic ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’, began as a celebration but has come to mean something else. Following the death of Scott Hutchison last year it now stands more as a tribute, and an outpouring of affection for a songwriter who meant a lot of things to a lot of people. 

One of this fabulous record’s great strengths, though, is the manner in which it still finds room amid its circumstances to be celebratory.

Compiled prior to Hutchison’s death, and overseen by him, the love that the assembled artists feel for this music is readily apparent. The structural alterations, some more revolutionary than others, that have been made show a deep understanding of the source material and draw out elements that allow it to flourish in fresh hands.

So, Biffy Clyro turn The Modern Leper into a brutish stadium rock triumph, while Julien Baker peels back the same track’s layers to get at the desolate, searching nature of its words. Similarly, with their take on Poke, Daughter emphasise space and clean edges where the original was a tangle of acoustic plucking and overlapping emotions. The National’s Aaron Dessner and Chvrches vocalist Lauren Mayberry, meanwhile, take the skittish Who’d You Kill Now? and recast it with a sort of quiet majesty.

Away from the bright lights of the record’s biggest contributors, there is further treasure. Oxford Collapse, a now defunct New York indie-rock band who toured with Frightened Rabbit back in the day, have reformed to add their yowling, anxious energy to I Feel Better, and their compatriots in Right On Dynamite bring rambunctious, scruffy cool to an excellent Fast Blood.

At the heart of the record are two songs: Craig Finn’s Head Rolls Off, home to the LP’s title lyric, and the Twilight Sad’s Floating in the Forth. Finn deconstructs Hutchison’s writing and feeds it into a lilting Americana-pop framework that serves as a counterpoint to the original’s fizzing melodicism, while the Twilight Sad bring stout-hearted emotion and their own sweeping post-punk sensibility to a song that remains difficult to hear.

Both underline the fact that the best covers are only ever the best covers because the original was constructed so well that pulling it apart leads not to an empty unravelling, but something new and interesting in its own right. Accordingly, ‘Tiny Changes’ is packed with great covers because ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ is packed with great songs. Perhaps it will help some to approach Hutchison’s music again, which is a tiny change we can all celebrate.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

Related News

Frightened Rabbit Share Further Covers From 'Tiny Changes' LP
Mon 24 Jun 2019
Frightened Rabbit have shared more tracks from their upcoming LP.
Frightened Rabbit Share Biffy Clyro and Julien Baker Covers Of The Modern Leper from 'Tiny Changes'
Wed 19 Jun 2019
Frightened Rabbit have shared the first tracks from their upcoming record.
Frightened Rabbit Announce Covers Album To Celebrate 10 Years Of 'Midnight Organ Fight'
Mon 17 Jun 2019
Frightened Rabbit have announced a covers version of their sophomore album.
New Order - ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) (Album Review)
Wed 17 Jul 2019
New Order’s new live album is taken from a performance at 2017’s Manchester International Festival. The show was a collaboration with conceptual artist Liam Gillick and featured songs from their 30 year catalogue, alongside tracks by the group’s precursor, Joy Division. 
The National Announce Jenny Lewis As Support For December UK Tour
Mon 12 Aug 2019
The National have announced Jenny Lewis as support for their upcoming UK dates.
Elbow Confirm October Release For New Album 'Giants Of All Sizes'
Wed 07 Aug 2019
Elbow have announced their new album.
Snow Patrol Line Up August Release For First Of Two 'Reworked' EPs
Fri 26 Jul 2019
Snow Patrol have announced an EP of reworked material.
Guided By Voices Announce Third Album Of 2019 'Sweating The Plague', Share First Track
Wed 07 Aug 2019
Photo: Tony Nelson Guided By Voices have announced a new album.
< Prev   Next >