Something special has just arrived. To celebrate the birthday of one of the most revered and influential records in Scotland’s history; Frightened Rabbit have announced an album of covers from The Midnight Organ Fight.
The record is called Tiny Changes, named after the mental health charity set up by the family of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison. The charity focuses on education and awareness of mental illness in young people and children.
Released on the 12th of July, the album features the likes of Biffy Clyro, The Twilight Sad, Manchester Orchestra, Julien Baker, Lauren Mayberry (Chvrches), and Aaron Dessner (The National). Each artist will offer up their own takes on tracks from the Selkirk band’s seminal second album.
To whet the appetite (not that we really needed it), two covers of the album’s opening track, ‘The Modern Leper‘ have been released today. The version which will open Tiny Changes comes from Scottish titans Biffy Clyro, while cathartic indie troubadour Julien Baker‘s cover will feature towards the end.
The tracks are very different sonically, which suggests we will be treated to some truly unique takes on these precious songs.
Biffy Clyro‘s interpretation is an unapologetic, bombastic take on the classic track. The guitars are thick, soaring efforts, he drums punch you square in the gut with every beat, and Simon Neil’s snarling vocals are awe inspiring.
The second verse pays tribute to Frightened Rabbit‘s original song with a pared back, acoustic led arrangement; but it is from the second chorus onwards where the Ayrshire trio really cut loose and shine.
Julien Baker‘s version of ‘The Modern Leper‘ begins in a far more restrained manner. A quiet backdrop allows Baker’s beautiful, intimate vocal delivery to sit centre stage for the first two minutes.
From the second chorus onwards, you get the sense that the track is going to gently rise to a epic climax, only for the rug to be whipped rom beneath your feet at the last moment. The result leaves you truly mesmerised, while Baker delivers a stunning, emotional outro to powerful effect.
Some people will try to compare these two covers, and debate which version of ‘The Modern Leper‘ is better. No doubt more of that will take place once Tiny Changes is released. Frankly, I don’t that’s important.
These songs are more than that. They’re about remembering an iconic album and truly special human; offering comfort and support to those who need it; and coming together as a community in celebration. I can’t wait to do all that on the 12th of July.