What to make of music that feels even sadder than you do?
Some sad music might be just the thing to help you feel better. Instantly he marks the border between melancholy and depression, anguish and the art it creates. Had a bad day? So why has Frightened Rabbit, for more than a decade, and since that very first song, plucked at something in my throat, as if they’re saying what I want to? “What’s the blues when you’ve got the greys?” sings Scott Hutchison, found dead at age 36 last week in Edinburgh, on the opening track of Frightened Rabbit’s debut album. I’ve never felt this pain that Scott poured into his music. So far in life, I haven’t needed medication for mental health problems. This is a shredding, stomping indie-rock single that recounts Scott’s worst weeks in unromantic terms — the sweat-stained bed, self-enforced solitude, and that visceral, permeating nausea with no relief: “I’m sick of feeling sick and not throwing up, and you sit in my stomach and you seem to be stuck.”
I’m lucky. Was I always just a voyeur, fetishizing what Scott called his “Scottish miserabilism,” the way he’d “chuck a bucket of cold water over” something as happy as California pop and drown its entire meaning? No suicide prevention hotline has fielded any call from me, nor have I given friends and family cause to worry that I might harm myself. Keep reading. This comes from MelMagazine. But already he’s blurred that line. By any conceivable metric, I cannot know Scott’s affliction. But beware: It’s sad. But what should we do with music that’s even sadder than we feel?