FRENCH FOR RABBITS: new single out
New Zealand’s French for Rabbits is in a constant state of creation with its warm, quirky and nuanced music. Its songs and accompanying videos are the result of the masterful storytelling that we’ve come to expect from the group, and the dynamic the band has built together over nearly a decade.
Today, the band has shared “Walk the Desert,” the fourth and final taste of the stellar new record, The Overflow, out on November 12th via AAARecords (NZ/AUS), Reckless Yes (UK) and A Modest Proposal (Italy).
The album will be released digitally, on CD and limited edition vinyl (with two unique color variants out of New Zealand and the UK).
“‘Walk the Desert‘ is another song that fits into the canon of this album – it’s about big feelings, and trying to keep them contained. That feeling that if someone asks if you’re alright, you know you’d burst into tears,” front-woman Brooke Singer explains of the emotive lyrics.
The Overflow was recorded with NZ producer/musician Jol Mulholland (Tami Neilson, Neil Finn, Delaney Davidson, Troy Kingi) in Wellington at The Surgery and in Auckland at The Lab, with mastering by Carl Saff in Chicago.
The result on “Walk the Desert” is premium indie-pop, that Singer has proclaimed her pride in, “I think we’ve managed to create our biggest, most solid pop song, and I’m really proud of that.”
On the new album, the group sweeps forward with their most dazzling body of work to date. Written and recorded mostly in 2020, the songs on The Overflow cover a wide range of relevant topics, with the common threads of introversion and anxiety woven throughout.
“The Overflow is our album for introverts and deep thinkers – it is sort of a constellation of all the different ways in which someone can be anxious.”
“I’m worried about the future, wistful for the past, concerned about my friends and family, having social anxiety at parties, baffled by Donald Trump’s presidency, loathing of social media and grieving the degradation of our environment. Sounds like a total downer…but I promise it isn’t!“
Yet, lyricist Brooke Singer delineates that the album was made as an offering of comfort:
“Perhaps it is more like a warm blanket. I’m really delighted with what we’ve made, very proud of our creation. I hope it finds its way into the right hands, and people give it a chance to sink it…I want people to listen to it loudly. Not quietly in the background…it’s an album for introverts, but it isn’t an introverted album.“
Surfacing nearly a decade ago from long oceanic shores, dream-pop luminaries French for Rabbits create music that feels like it has been crafted from the fabric of the New Zealand landscape and psyche – with its salty waves, isolated coastlines, expansive skies and friendly, approachable people. That is to say, their music is both intimate and expansive, welcoming and wary, poetic but piercing.
Led by songwriter and producer Brooke Singer, the project came to life when she started working with guitarist John Fitzgerald in the small coastal township of Waikuku Beach back in 2012.
His minimalist but shimmering guitar lines proved to be the backbone of the early work, and over the years the band has expanded to include multi-instrumentalists Ben Lemi and Penelope Esplin alongside drummer Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa.
The band has emerged from a vibrant local folk scene alongside Marlon Williams, Aldous Harding and Tiny Ruins. Together, the band has released three records – New Zealand Music Award nominated EP Claimed by the Sea; Spirits, which includes the poetic and emotive singles “Goat” and “The Other Side;” and The Weight of Melted Snow.
It has toured in the US and Europe, opening for acts such as Lorde, Agnes Obel and performed at SXSW, Iceland Airwaves, WOMAD and in a castle for a fan’s wedding in Switzerland.
Despite racking up millions of streams and seeing its music appear in shows from Vampire Diaries to Being Human, the band has remained close to its DIY roots co-running local label Home Alone, and performing in various other bands in its Wellington home-town.
In the new material from forthcoming record The Overflow, the self-confessed anxious introvert Singer is both judge, and comforter. On its title track there is a battle of head over heart, as she seeks to rationalize the mechanics of a panic attack – yet, the song is weightless and optimistically bright in delivery. These subtle juxtapositions are at the center of its work.
The Overflow Tracklisting
01.) The Overflow
03.) The Outsider
04.) Walk the Desert
05.) The Dark Arts
06.) Ouija Board
07.) Money or the Bag
08.) Poetry Girl
09.) Nothing in my Hands
10.) Middle of the House
Brooke Singer: vocals, piano, nylon string, synths
John Fitzgerald: electric guitar
Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa: drums
Ben Lemi: bass, vocals, electric guitar
Penelope Esplin: vocals, synth, bass, keys
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