Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit Remembered by Publicists Caroline Borolla and Tim Plumley | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit Remembered by Publicists Caroline Borolla and Tim Plumley

That Time the Cast of a Famous Sitcom Came to Their Show; Plus Revisit Some of Hutchison’s Greatest Collaborations

May 13, 2018 Frightened Rabbit Bookmark and Share

The sudden tragic loss of Scott Hutchison has left family, friends, and the international music community heartbroken. Hutchison was a beloved figure. His music defined a specific modern Scottish sound, one both tied to the past and facing the future, characterized by startling beauty, bold honesty, and a spirit of genuine artistic interplay that is exceptionally rare in a world that can seem increasingly fractured.

Hutchison made five studio LPs, three EPs, two live albums, and 10 singles with Frightened Rabbit, a solo full-length as Owl John, and collaborative albums with The Fruit Tree Foundation and Mastersystem. Along the way he recorded with members of Idlewild, The Delgados, The Twilight Sad, Camera Obscura, Arab Strap, Editors, Minor Victories, as well as Archie Fisher, Julien Baker, and many others. When he lived in Los Angeles he often performed at Largo along side comedians like Sarah Silverman, Tom Papa, and Pete Holmes. And, his shows, no matter the size, were always intimate events. He truly brought people together.

At my first Frightened Rabbit show I met music publicists Caroline Borolla and Tim Plumley. In the spirit of Scott’s collaborations, I’ve asked them to share remembrances of that night and Scott here:

Caroline Borolla: “In the fall of 2009, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, and We Were Promised Jetpacks toured North America together. All three bands were labelmates and toured together in the same bus (oh to be a fly on the wall on that bus, lol). They had the same tour manager, Esteban, (who later became a dear friend) and were basically inseparable. I worked with Jetpacks and Twilight Sad and Tim, who also became a close friend through this tour, was handling press for Frightened Rabbit. One of my favorite moments of that tour was the show in Los Angeles at the old Knitting Factory in Hollywood. Halfway through that Knitting Factory show, I noticed about a dozen people who were dressed in tuxedos and gowns in attendance. It turned out to be the cast of The Office who came straight from an awards show. They were all huge fans of the bands, especially Frightened Rabbit. It was incredible to see them genuinely excited to see one of their favorite bands. After the show, they hung out with the bands and gave them a tour of the set the next day, which was a highlight for everyone. I remember Scott and the rest of Frightened Rabbit as a band that would graciously interact with their fans. Scott was always willing to tell jokes, take photos, and take the time to chat with fans. Lyrically, I think many of their fans could relate to themes of the songs and the personal connection they made with fans is one that will last forever and something that will surely be missed.”

Tim Plumley: “Scott Hutchison was one of the most talented, funny, warm-hearted, and gracious human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling my friend. He impacted everyone he met and we are all better for it. He had an immeasurable impact on my life, both personally and professionally. I had the distinct honor of serving as their publicist in the U.S. for their albums The Midnight Organ Fight and The Winter of Mixed Drinks. I became a fan the moment I heard The Midnight Organ Fight and from then on they were always one of my favorite bands. I have so many great memories of Scott and the Frabbits, from multiple trips to SXSW, celebrating their American television debut on Fallon after commandeering a TV at a bar so we could watch it in real time together, rowdy nights in LA, catching up with the guys whenever they were in town, and seeing them progress over the last decade from the indie band that could to playing massive festivals around the world and sharing the stage with so many of their favorite bands like The National and Death Cab for Cutie. Scott is one of our generation’s greatest songwriters. Whether you could relate directly to his lyrics or not, you knew the emotion was real and I think this is what attracted so many people to his music. He wrote from his heart, which he wore proudly on his sleeve. It was visceral, unguarded, and authentic. He will be so missed by so many.”

I was fortunate to have interviewed Scott for Under the Radar in 2016. If you ever met him, saw him perform, or were moved by his music, please share your memories in the comments below.

If you are struggling, please reach out for support. If you are in the United Kingdom, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123. In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone.

Here are five great collaborations between Scott and other artists:

Frightened Rabbit - “Keep Yourself Warm” (Live, Featuring James Graham of The Twilight Sad):

Frightened Rabbit - “How It Gets In” (Featuring Julien Baker):

Frightened Rabbit - “Fuck This Place” (Featuring Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura and Tracyanne and Danny):

Frightened Rabbit - “Wedding Gloves” (Featuring Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap):

Frightened Rabbit - “The Work” (Featuring Archie Fisher):

(Also read Michael Hall’s tribute to Hutchison.)

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Charles Steinberg
November 7th 2018

Hey Paul - Fellow UTR writer. I’ve just come around to reading these Hutchison tributes after seeing The Twilight Sad twice this past week and oh the stories…What you’ve provided above is priceless. Thanks. Hope you get a chance to read my interview with Scott for Mastersystem. Cheers

Anna John
March 18th 2019

This article is like a tribute to Scott Hutchison. We all know that Scott was a great musician. His contributions to the music world are irreplaceable. The article is written very beautifully and it is heart-warming. Thanks for sharing this with us.