aving topped myriad “Best Of” lists in 2008 with their widely acclaimed sophomore album, The Midnight Organ Fight, Glasgow’s Frightened Rabbit returns with their anticipated third album, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks. The follow-up to their breakthrough LP will be released worldwide in March 2010 on FatCat Records. The record’s first taste, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land,” is followed by a 7-inch b/w “Fun Stuff” on December 8.
The Rabbit’s jangly, anthemic sophomore album earned them critical adoration; among those bestowing it with best-of-the-year laurels were Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop Poll, The Onion, Magnet, and Pitchfork, who also designated album opener, “The Modern Leper,” one of “The Best Tracks of 2008” as well as one of its “Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s.” Upon its unveiling, the foursome’s newest offering, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land,” made instant waves online, with RollingStone.com gushing: “We suggest you find a quiet spot this afternoon, turn your desk speakers up and drink it all in.”
Following an exciting but exhausting year, lead Rabbit Scott Hutchison retreated to the harbor town of Crail, along Scotland’s Fyfe coastline, and was inspired to pen “Swim,” an undeniably catchy song about “losing your mind in order to rest the mind and the body.” The track, buoyed by chiming guitars and a shuffling beat, builds and swells as it progresses, bolstered by a sweeping string arrangement courtesy of fellow FatCat artist Hauschka.
According to Hutchison, “Swim” is the natural lead-in to the album: “It’s the one that sort of sums up the record for me,” he reveals. “I had the song’s title in my mind before I even started writing the album; I was becoming more and more interested in the idea of a rejection of the habits and behavior most people see as normal, and in turn embracing a certain madness. This is not necessarily a geographical journey, as the ‘swim’ can involve any activity in which you can lose yourself. It’s a good introduction to the record as the theme unravels therein.”
Nautical references continue throughout the album, interwoven among recurring themes of wearied endurance, recaptured freedom, and redemption. “Thematically, this record had to be different from the last,” explains Hutchison. “Nobody wanted to hear more break-up songs, and thankfully, I no longer had any in me.”
While a failed relationship may not be the centerpiece of this new collection, the songs retain some of the solemnity of previous efforts. “I think even the most upbeat moments on the record are conveyed in somewhat dark language,” Hutchison admits.
Frightened Rabbit will be touring the UK through the end of the year, with a string of headlining gigs followed by a weeklong run in Ireland and England with Modest Mouse.
A full North American tour is planned for the album’s release.