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Frightened Rabbit

While the name Frightened Rabbit conjures up disheartening images of timid waifs lamenting lost love with Hallmark diction, this Scottish act packs quite a bite. Sure, the group uses an acoustic guitar accompanied by a trembling voice and has ample references to heartbreak — but the sense of melancholy, desperation and perseverance packed into its songs is too earnest to resist. The band's sophomore release, 2008's The Midnight Organ Fight, merged singer-songwriter sensitivities with ardent pop aggression. At the forefront, singer and guitarist Scott Hutchinson spits his witty narratives with poetic inclination and a raw vibrato howl. Alienated, anxious and battered, this Rabbit is scared, but still has plenty of fight left in it. Less downcast Organ Fight follow-up The Winter of Mixed Drinks (Fat Cat) was released just before Frightened Rabbit enjoyed a rapturous reception at this year's SXSW festival.

 
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