Scott Hutchinson, the loquacious frontman of Frightened Rabbit, never worries himself too much with the lighter side of life in his songs. He has a knack for seeing very well in the dark, evinced by this playlist of songs about death. From the heavy (Black Sabbath) to the obvious (Queens of the Stone Age) to the classic (Gil Scott Heron), listen to his playlist below.
Frightened Rabbit’s new LP Pedestrian Verse is out February 5th via Canvasback/Atlantic Records.
Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells - “The Copper Top”
This is such a sad, beautiful song. A man takes a moment to himself after a funeral and as ever, Aidan’s lyrics perfectly sum up complex emotions within the space of a few seemingly throwaway lines.
Withered Hand – “Heart Heart”
I think Dan’s talking about ageing in this song, and I know how it feels to become aware that your body is very slowly deteriorating. It’s not a morbid thought, just a realistic one.
Black Sabbath – “War Pigs”
Death metal is bollocks. This is the darkest music has ever been, its utterly apocalyptic and the guitar riff alone reeks of ‘the other side’. Terrifying! Brilliant.
Queens of the Stone Age – “Song For The Dead”
Again, here’s a riff that says more than words can. This song is a threat. I love the hounds of hell style moan of the chorus, and Mark Lanegan’s voice may be the most morbid since the blackened croon of Johnny Cash.
Death Cab For Cutie – “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”
A love song about death! My favourite kind. These are some of Ben’s finest lyrics, and the sentiment is perfectly pitched. Gets me every time.
Gil Scott-Heron – “New York Is Killing Me”
The whole of this album is peppered with references to death, and it’s odd how life-affirming the theme can be, when written well. Gil Scott-Heron was one of the best writers the world has ever had.
The Raveonettes – “Dead Sound”
Ok, this isn’t really about death, but it’s got ‘dead’ in the title and it’s one of my absolute favourites. I’d love this to be played at my funeral. Is that dark enough for ya?
Meursault – “William Henry Miller Pt 1”
This one is about a chap whose tomb is in the East End of Edinburgh. I believe the story goes that he was buried 40ft below, facing down, by his own request. Apparently he wanted to be able to look upon the earth as he was raised to heaven.
Led Zeppelin – “Gallows Pole”
The guy doesn’t actually die in the end, mainly because his sister steps in and has a bit of the old ‘in-out’ with the hangman! What a gal!
The Phantom Band – “Into The Corn”
I don’t think this is about dying, it may be about taking acid in the countryside and finding that everyone you know is dead. But, kinda, not really…