Review Summary: Scott Hutchison, come home.
As I write this, lead vocalist Scott Hutchison is approaching a two-day timeline as a missing person. Last seen at Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry, Scotland, the status of the mastersystem / Frightened Rabbit front man – and documented depression sufferer – remains unknown. His latest project, mastersystem, released this debut album last month and I sincerely hope that it won’t be the last thing that we hear from him. Comprised of heavy, fuzzy riffs and upbeat percussion, it feels more awake and lively than his downtempo, comparatively meek Frightened Rabbit or Owl John projects. One can only hope that the same trend strikes Scott right now, and that he finds inspiration and enlightenment in the thousands of lives he’s improved – and even saved
– with his music. After all, I’m one of them.
As much as I want to discuss music right now, it hardly seems to be of significance at the moment – I’d first like to speak to Scott Hutchison directly. I know there’s almost no chance you’ll end up reading this. There are hundreds of more important things to you than music, and I hope that you will be able to find the answers to the most important of them soon. But music is obviously an enormous outlet for you, as it is for your bandmates/family/friends, as well as all of the fans that breathe in your creations like they’re air at the bottom of the ocean. Your lyrics, essentially singlehandedly, dragged me out of the
two lowest points of my lifetime. These were moments where I was so alone that, even had I wanted
to talk to somebody about what I was feeling, there was literally nobody there. At all
. The lyrics to most of Midnight Organ Fight
were like my best friend for a whole year; by listening to you sing about heartbreak and depression in such a relatable way, it oddly made my own voice feel heard. While I’m sure that you encounter sentiments like this from fans with a fair amount of frequency, I just wanted to express gratitude for helping me out during some pretty grim times. Even though you couldn’t possibly have ever been aware of it, you figuratively talked me down from more than just one ledge, which is a favor that I only wish I had the ability to return.
But instead of looking around at what you have done, and can continue to do, for the lives of your fans – I wish you would look inward right now. Look at the uniquely successful, beautifully spoken artist you’ve become. Look at the multitude of outlets you’ve been a part of and achieved acclaim with (Frightened Rabbit, Owl John, mastersystem). Look at how much people care that you’re even temporarily gone. Although I do not know you personally, I do
know that it takes a really good person to have so many concerned family members and friends readily willing to be at your side upon your safe return. Coming home from this does not make you a coward. It will show millions of people also suffering from severe depression – or even those in fragile, vulnerable states – that it’s possible to face the brink of your worries/fears and still come back from the whole ordeal stronger, and with the full support of the people dearest to them.
At this moment, I know the situation seems pretty bleak. Not very many people suffering from depression wander off into the night, vanish for days, and then return totally well. However, for Scott – and I suppose also for concerned friends and fans – I’d like to pull a quote from Dance Music
’s ‘The Enlightenment’, which just happens to be one of my favorite tracks from the record:
The night will spark the enlightenment
And I know you, you made a difference
The dark will usher the light in
And I know this, this is different
Scott, you’ve made a difference. You continue to do so. This is hopefully nothing more than a dark moment that will usher in brighter days. I also know this will be different
than the thousands of other cases of depression that have gone wrong, and that could have been avoided with better awareness in society. Let this incredible album that you’ve just created inspire you as much as its words have inspired me. This isn’t the end, just some notes on a life not quite done living
. Scott, come home.