How to describe Blue Rabbit? The band's MySpace page cites influences as disparate as The Beatles, ELO, Simon and Garfunkel, Bjork, Radiohead and Rufus Wainwright. Reviewers have called them a mashup of Nick Cave and The Supremes, The Andrews Sisters and Portishead, Bjork and Arcade Fire. The band plays a range of instruments including guitar, tambourine, cowbell, drums, cello, keyboards and celtic harp (among others). It's tempting to throw this San Francisco indie act in with the likes of Rasputina and Emilie Autumn, though these dwell on the Gothic side of town, whereas Blue Rabbit is much more Baroque in flavor.
Blue Rabbit's self-funded, self-released debut EP, Separate, is a sort of art-piece, the lyrics to all eight of its songs tied together with an illustrated "autobiofictionalography" called The Story of Sadie Jones (written and produced by band leader Heather Anderson. Combined with Arami Reyes and Sarah Rocklin, this trio of vocalists (and then some) sing sweet lullaby nothings atop a fluttering cello bassline and the trill of the harp. Unique time signatures, odd chord progressions and eerie melodies keep things consistently interesting, but the melancholy cello ties everything together.
Album opener "Sleep" is rolling drums, throbbing cello, its exhausted, insomniac central character chanting herself to sleep in gorgeous harmony. "Missing Piece" is a smooth, smokey, jazzy number, Baroque Blues with haunting melodies and minimal instrumentation that feels like an epic unto itself (at 6:20, it's the longest song on the album). "Getting Away" pushes the vocals further to the front of the class, soaring to great heights that leave little wonder about the song's inclusion on Women of Rock, a compilation album of female-fronted rock bands, even though the song is decidedly NOT a rock song. Album closer "Love Secret" is another non-rock song on a rock compilation album (WomenRock), demonstrating again Blue Rabbit's ability to at once stick with a classical Baroque sound and yet defy boundaries. Can't find your white rabbit? Follow a blue one down the rabbit hole, and you won't be disappointed.
Favorite Track: "Missing Piece"
Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse
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