Scottish music industry honours Frightened Rabbit with ‘classic album’ award

The much-loved indie-rock band Frightened Rabbit has been recognised with a major Scottish music industry honour three years after the death of singer-songwriter Scott Hutchison.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 3:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 5:30 pm
Frightened Rabbit have been honoured by the organisers of the Scottish Album of the Year Awards.

The group, which was led by Hutchison for 15 years, has been named as the inaugural winner of a new award recognising a "Modern Scottish Classic Album".

The honour has emerged just weeks ahead of the release of a book of lyrics and illustrations by Hutchison, who took his own life in May 2018.

The Midnight Organ Fight, the follow-up to debut Sing the Greys, was Frightened Rabbit’s breakthrough album and made a number of end-of-year album lists after its release in 2008.

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Scott Hutchison was the lead singer of Frightened Rabbit.

The band recorded another three albums and embarked on an extensive tour in 2018 to mark the ten-year anniversary of The Midnight Organ Fight.

The death of Hutchison provoked tributes from musicians all over the world who had been influenced by his lyrics and the band’s performances. His family set up a charity to improve mental health support for young people in Scotland in his memory.

The coming book of lyrics and illustrations by Hutchison is described as “a celebration of and tribute to Scott’s unbridled creativity”.

Frightened Rabbit’s second album was chosen as the first recipient of the new honour – created to recognise “an iconic Scottish album which has inspired music being made today” – by the 20 acts longlisted for the main award.

The Scottish Music Association’s announcement was made to coincide with the unveiling of the ten-strong shortlist for Scottish Album of the Year.

Little-known singers AiiTee, Joesef and Lizzie Reid will compete with major indie-rock acts like Arab Strap, Biffy Clyro, Mogwai and The Snuts for the annual honour.

Other contenders for the award include hip hop outfit Stanley Odd, who won a public vote to secure a place on the shortlist, folk singer and harpist Rachel Newton, and “gloom pop” group The Ninth Wave.

The tenth winner of the “SAY Award” will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh later this month, where the Frightened Rabbit honour will be officially honoured.

Robert Kilpatrick, creative projects director at the Scottish Music Industry Association, said of Frightened Rabbit’s honour: “The Midnight Organ Fight is a record that many of us hold close to our hearts and for it to claim the inaugural prize is a special moment for both the SAY Award and Scotland’s music community as a whole.

“It’s a record we’re proud to be honouring this year and one we know will continue to be both celebrated and cherished for many years to come.”

The ten shortlisted albums in contention for this year’s SAY Award, which will be announced on October 23, have been draw from 327 eligible releases during the Covid pandemic.

The winning act will receive £20,000 – one of the most lucrative music prizes in the UK.

Kilpatrick added: “With some of the biggest names in Scottish music featured alongside some of our nation’s most exciting rising talents, 2021’s shortlist showcases the exciting, diverse and resilient nature of our music community despite 18 months of significant challenges.

"It firmly recognises music’s cultural impact and life-changing value, and brings to the forefront a recorded output that all of us in Scotland can – and should – feel proud of.”