I first heard Frightened Rabbit’s album The Midnight Organ Fight when my daughter was nine months old. On the surface, it should have had no appeal to me. I was supposed to be basking in maternal bliss, but the truth is postpartum depression was coating my skin, seeping in my mouth and eyes, terrifying me. The irreverence of the lyrics, the images of lepers and people seeking and failing and still seeking, and the urgency around the edges of Scott’s voice all built platforms from which I could stand and scream and find my heart a bit better and a bit stronger.
Ten years later, those platforms are still in tact, and I have visited them often, grateful to be received. When I heard the news of Scott’s death, I cried thinking of his pain, of his family and friends, of the loss. I wondered if I would still be able to listen to his songs, or if they would be lost to me, too heavy to revisit. But, as the days passed and the songs began to play through my mind, I found myself singing and realized that yes, I will still listen. Thankfully, I don’t have a choice. The songs are gifts I accepted, and they are embedded in me. They dug in and helped to reinforce my limbs, stabilize my mind, and grant me permission to acknowledge emotions I keep tucked close.
Of all the songs Scott Hutchison wrote, “The Loneliness and the Scream” is the one I find most cathartic. I have crawled inside its pulsing forest countless times and always come out the other side clearer and stronger.
I hope the family and friends of Scott will find some solace in knowing how much his music meant to so many people, myself included. And to Scott, thank you for the songs. I hope you know that we heard you, we hear you even now, and we are grateful. Rest easy.
(Song recommendation by Christie Wilson)