Friday, 16 October 2009

Frightened Rabbit: Swim Until You Can't See Land

In the Age of YouTube, the performance video has gone out of fashion. With millions of live videos already competing for views, any band that bothers making a live-in-the-studio music video ensures instant condemnation to online obscurity.

To buck the trend, more and more videos are spouting up that turn the genre on its head. LaBlogotheque has amassed thousands of online followers by filming indie groups playing in unusual locations (stairwell, warehouse, Parisian sidewalk). For his upcoming concert DVD, Paul McCartney gave dozens of fans video cameras and compiled the resulting footage.

Frightened Rabbit pulled a similar stunt for their “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” video, but instead of cameras they gave out flashlights. No need to pay for a lighting rig when free labor is just a tweet away. In the video below, the jittery lights that surrounds the Glasgow four-piece turns a quiet performance into a DIY floorshow.

“Swim” is the first single off the upcoming The Winter of Mixed Drinks, due in March. Lead singer and songwriter Scott Hutchinson said the song’s inspiration came while recording on the small Scottish island of Crail.

I would usually come up with the basis for a lyric during my daily walk along the coast from Crail,” he wrote in a post on the band’s MySpace page. “I didn't come back to the house until I had something I was excited about. I got all the way to Anstruther one day, 3 miles down the coast, before I realised [sic] I'd have to walk back. I had only had a glass of lemonade and a Snickers, so on the way home I started feeling a bit faint and weary. I had literally come too far, and that's what sparked the song. Perhaps it ought to be called 'Walk On An Empty Stomach Until You Can't Feel Your Legs'.

Check out the lightshow that is “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” below. Just one original idea can revive even the most tired video format.

Verdict: 4/5 stars

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