Music that delves into the endless abyss of thought provoking themes and topics our multifaceted brains are capable of conjuring up is music that isn’t too keen on escapism. As compelling as this music may be, there’s a time and place for it, and sometimes we need an escape from reality. After all, I’m pretty sure your local bar isn’t the ideal place to play songs about existentialism on the jukebox. “Who wants shots?! Now what’s the meaning of life?” Sometimes music about the spirit of music and it’s healing abilities will suffice. “Flying Rabbit” are a band whose music contains immense substance and creativity, but they can also be a band that likes to have fun, and their song “The Clap” indicates that. This is the band’s version of a dance anthem. A dance anthem that resides in their own universe. This isn’t exactly club music, it’s definitely a “Flying Rabbit” song, but it is a celebration of the primal urge to dance when we hear an infectious rhythm. When we hear music that moves us, we dance, we sing, we clap. The sounds emitted from music possesses one person and goes to another, and another, and another. It’s contagious, it spreads. I can think of another thing under the name “the clap” that spreads, but I’m not going to get into that. Sorry, I just had to say it. Is this a comical analogy? The song title did prompt me to chuckle like a kid in class whose teacher just dropped the F-bomb, but in all seriousness, this track shows the immense versatility “Flying Rabbit” have in their song writing abilities and musicianship. They can make music for all moods. Now throw on this song and clap along.
There’s no denying the fact that Oslo, Norway-based band “Flying Rabbit” stand on their own musically, lyrically, and aesthetically as they plunge themselves into a musical realm they’ve created on their own, not succumbing to any contemporary musical trends. Seriously, what other bands out there right now can you say “Flying Rabbit” sound like? I bet you can’t name any, and on top of that how do you categorize their music? Is their a name for Psychedelic-tinged Swing music with theatrical vocals that soar high and topical content that has no interest in sugar-coating the issues brought on by the current state of our species? It’s refreshing hearing a band this unique in this day and age of recycled ideas. The band have dropped another refreshing new track titled “In the Middle.” Unsurprisingly, much thought is provoked after hearing the line “Stand in the middle with me” from said track. What is the middle? Does it represent centrism in politics? Is this a cry from a class that appears to be fading due to the cost of living rising while most citizens can’t rely solely on the low wages they receive to live comfortably? Or does this represent unique personal identity, art, and ideas that separate themselves from the zeitgeist of the modern world? These are all loaded questions that arise when hearing “In the Middle,” and yet, the band have no interest in bombarding us with lectures or sloganeering. Instead, they offer skillfully upbeat instrumentation with a slightly sinister melody filled with the band’s signature Jazz soaked rhythm section combined with guitars that range from groovy to Southern Gothic to back the lyrical themes of corporate greed and the evils of cutthroat competition. This is music to dance to while the world falls apart, and in the midst of it all lead vocalist Emily C. Brannigan urges us to stand in the middle with her where our mind, body, and soul are intact, devoid of greedy corruption. It’s hard to make a song like this and not fall into cheap anthem territory, but “Flying Rabbit” do it so seamlessly, which makes their music that much more genuine.
Dancing Soviet soldiers in space. Need I say more? “Flying Rabbit” have released a new music video for their track “Don’t Oppress Me,” which appears on their new E.P. Eclectic Playground, and being one of the EP’s most standout tracks, it’s only fitting that the video reflects its zany nature. The video consists of captions for you to sing along to, repurposed footage of dancing Soviet soldiers from God knows where, and spacey visuals that are quite hypnotizing. This is more proof that “Flying Rabbit” are an incredibly unique band that demands your attention. You can watch the music video for “Don’t Oppress Me” below:
Describing “Flying Rabbit’s” debut E.P. Eclectic Playground is difficult. On one hand the music is contemporary “Psychedelic Rock” breathing new life into the stagnant genre. The soaringly theatrical vocals with immense personality are a great addition to a genre that tends to breed “Beatles” worshippers or obvious “King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard” influenced bands trying desperately to emulate their sound. On the other hand the music is just as Jazzy as it is psychedelic with frequent double bass and horns that will teleport you to a big city Jazz lounge. Eclectic Playground is the perfect title for this E.P. The band have built a world rich in eclecticism for us to play in, and they have no interest in being pigeonholed. Based in Oslo, Norway, “Flying Rabbit” combines the members’ various influences in a successful way that doesn’t sound scatterbrained or incohesive, all while maintaining a frequent “Psych Rock” style with enough acid soaked trippiness to make you wanna light up some incense and open up the curtains for your suncatcher. However, at the same time, the music even laughs at its reflection like on the opening track “New Age Witch.” There’s no doubt New Age spirituality is something that the band knows a thing or two about. “New Age Witch” comments on the claims of individualism from people who delve into metaphysical spirituality when ironically the lifestyle is more commonplace than ever. However, the track by no means shines a negative light on the lifestyle, instead, it informs those who feel like they can become this person overnight that it takes a lot of work and time to fully immerse yourself in the lifestyle and you won’t always find the answers to life by simply meditating or doing yoga. This track could have easily been heavy in gatekeeping elitism, but instead is quite thought provoking and insightful. The following tracks undoubtedly offer the same energy of genre blending and bending with powerful and at times zany vocals that playfully guide us through shifting emotions ranging from dark, to comedic, and to tongue-in-cheek like on the track “Don’t Oppress Me,” which is sung from the point of view of a self-absorbed brat who thinks they’re brilliant and never wrong. This track definitely has the most fun instrumental while the fusion of “Jazz” and “Psychedelia” erupts into an all-out finger-wagging jam. Tracks like the environmentally conscious “Keep on Digging” that forces us to think about how we’re truly making things worse by damaging the planet, which is based on a poem written by lead singer Emily C. Brannigan’s father, and the upbeat “Garage Rock” groovy “Running From Water” offer the variety the band promises us. They definitely deliver on that promise. The band are currently working on their debut full-length album, so this is merely a taste of what’s to come.