I won’t pretend that Frightened Rabbit was a household name by typical measures. In the the 12 years since his first album “Sing the Greys” it seems he’s built up a pretty decent following of devoted appreciators.

For me, his music came along when all good music does: right when you need it. Scott Hutchison’s lyrics were so raw and intense and spoke directly to the threads of pain I was feeling at the time.

From awkward feelings of inadequacy:

“Lets pretend I’m attractive and then You won’t mind, you can twist for a while It’s the night, I can be who you like And I’ll quietly leave before it gets light”

To figuring out how to deal with the loss of a relationship and how to process and move forward:

“I’m working on my backwards walk Walking with no shoes or socks And the time rewinds to the end of May I wish we’d never met, then met today

I’m working on my faults and cracks Filling in the blanks and gaps And when I write them out they don’t make sense I need you to pencil in the rest”

To the ultimately all too prescient “Floating in the Forth”:

“Fully clothed, I’ll float away (I’ll float away) Down the Forth, into the sea I’ll steer myself Through chopping waves As manic gulls Scream “it’s okay” Take your life Give it a shake Gather up All your loose change I think I’ll save suicide for another year”

At the time I had questions about what being an alive person meant, if it was worth it, would anything change, how could it get better, how could I make it better, will all my mistakes add up to a sad, small life.

The answer, of course, came through the therapy of music. Listening to someone speak so plainly about all these issues helped keep my world firmly rooted in this one. Things got better, then got worse, then got better, as one realizes happens in life. And now things are, by most measures, good. Time is journey I’ve found to be worth experiencing: what’s next? what will happen? what does it all mean? It’s intensely beautiful and wonderful and filled with the best people and experiences.

“Hutchison had addressed mental health difficulties in his songwriting. In an interview published on Noisey last week, he described his mood: “Middling. On a day-to-day basis, I’m a solid six out of 10. I don’t know how often I can hope for much more than that. I’m drawn to negatives in life, and I dwell on them, and they consume me.””

Despite knowing how lucky I am to be here, I feel a bit stuck right now and I’m dealing with how to ratchet up that solid 6 to something closer resembling a 10. I say that as not a red flag, but to acknowledge that the struggle for happiness is still a struggle for me. For the first time in my life I’m attacking the problem head on and trying new solutions and changing old ones. Scott’s death comes along at a time where I’ve been thinking about everything he’s been dealing with for 36 years… just a couple more years than I have.

I wish he had figured something else out or found support in the people around him. Here in the U.S. we are notoriously bad at dealing with mental health, talking about it, offering genuine support.

Life is, as the cliché’d saying goes, hard. Everyone struggles with being an alive person. I’ve been bad at offering support because I’ve always felt I had my own shit to deal with. I’ll work on that along with the other remodeling. We’ll all be ok together, ok? Okay.

I urge you to listen to a bunch of Frightened Rabbit’s music. Scott was a great songwriter and he deserves to be heard.

… Thanks for everything, man. You got me out some deep jams in the last 12 years, and I’m sure many more. That’s the ultimate power of your music.