Sunday, April 17, 2016

"Painting of a Panic Attack," Frightened Rabbit (2016)

When I was lucky enough to be invited by Jack Gallagher a couple of years ago to appear on his 5 Songs podcast, I tried to articulate my philosophy of music with the comment, "the best song ever written is still out there somewhere; I just haven't found it yet."

About a month ago, the band Frightened Rabbit appeared on Colbert, singing a song called "Get Out." I was transfixed, and I knew that as soon as the album was released, I'd be picking it up on strength of that song alone.

Got the album yesterday, and have not wanted to stop listening yet. And while I know my tendency is to get a little too excited upon first listens, right now I won't hesitate to call "Painting of a Panic Attack" an absolute masterpiece. For those who are unfamiliar with the band, think The National - in fact, this record sounds as if it's a companion to that band's last album, "Trouble Will Find Me" (one of the best albums of the decade, so far).

There's no lyric sheet, but the song titles alone tell you the story - "Death Dream," "I Wish I Was Sober," "An Otherwise Disappointing Life," "Blood Under the Bridge," "Die Like a Rich Boy" - this is not a particularly happy album. But then again, what pulled me in from first listen is the music - beautiful and moving, it's the first record in a while to remind me that sometimes, a piece of music really can change the course of a day, of a mood.

And if I hadn't managed to stay awake that night they were on Colbert, they'd be out there but I still wouldn't know who they are. I'm glad I found them, and now it's time to start searching for the next great band, the next great song.

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