When a famous musician dies, it’s a strange situation. In most cases, you don’t know them personally and have never met them. But it’s likely you’ve spent time listening to their voice in your ears and have felt something as a result of their music. Their death is impersonal and personal to you at the same time.
The death of Scott Hutchison, the 36-year-old founder and leading member of the Scottish indie-rock band Frightened Rabbit is a tough blow to indie-rock fans everywhere and to the people of Scotland.
Frightened Rabbit was founded by Hutchison 15 years ago as an independent project which only saw an increase of popularity, tours and band members.
Though the 2006 Sing the Greys, their first album, was successful, its successor The Midnight Organ Fight released in 2008 received immense praise from critics and fans alike. The Midnight Organ Fight also attracted many new fans and established the band as a staple of Scottish indie-rock music. This was also the first album I heard, and I would highly recommend the song “Old Old Fashioned.”
Very sadly, Hutchison’s bandmates announced on May 9 that he was missing. He was found dead the next day. In the time leading up to his death, Hutchison tweeted, “Be so good to everyone you love. It’s not a given. I’m so annoyed that it’s not. I didn’t live by that standard and it kills me. Please, hug your loved ones” and “I’m away now. Thanks.”
While his family confirmed that Hutchison was suffering with depression and mental health, Hutchison had been very vocal about his struggles for a long time and had written a song about suicide called “Floating in the Forth.”
His death potentially raises the increasingly common question of mental health treatment in Scotland, and the importance of spreading awareness and funding recovery programs for people with mental health issues in our country.
Many celebrities and influential figures in the United Kingdom paid respects to Hutchison and his family. The First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, said, “Heartbreaking news. My thoughts are with Scott’s family, friends and fans. A remarkable and much loved talent.”
Indeed, the tribute by the leader of our country goes to show just how deeply Frightened Rabbit and Scott Hutchison impacted Scotland and its music scene. The remaining members of Frightened Rabbit released a statement that said Hutchison “leaves a legacy of hope, kindness and colour that will forever be remembered and shared.”
The future of the band is unknown but it is certain that they spent the last 15 years creating unique music and giving generously to the Scottish indie-rock scene.
Owen Ferguson is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.