Review Summary: There's nowhere else for me to go except back to you, just one last time
The tragedy of Scott Hutchison’s suicide is one that still hasn’t completely registered with me. At the time, the news almost didn’t feel real. Maybe it was because he vanished in identical fashion to the lyrics from The Midnight Organ Fight
’s ‘Floating in the Forth’, or perhaps it was merely denial on my end. As ”Scott Hutchison Missing”
was plastered across various news headlines, there was an unshakably ill vibe to the entire thing; it was as if we all knew what we were about to find out, even if nobody wanted to admit it. When his body turned up in Port Edgar, that intuition was confirmed – and ever since, it’s been painful to listen to Hutchison’s work, especially his emotional 2008 magnum opus.
What’s wonderful about Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’
is that it feels less like a funeral and more like a celebration of life. We have just shy of twenty artists – some of whom were friends, and others who drew inspiration – gathered around to reimagine and recreate his dearest project. While there’s nothing here that should be prioritized over Scott’s originals, they all seem in their own way like worthy tributes to what this album meant
to his contemporaries, fans, friends, and family – subsets that ultimately overlapped more than Hutchison was probably ever aware.
is an emotive listen start to end, especially if you already know the album by heart (if you’ve never heard The Midnight Organ Fight
then by all means, start there), and contains several thrillingly imaginative takes on the classics we know. We’re graced with two versions of ‘The Modern Leper’, from Biffy Clyro’s propulsive rocker – which is more entertaining – to Julien Baker’s forlorn ballad, which feels more raw and honest. Manchester Orchestra continues their trend of turning everything they touch into gold with their highly emotional take on ‘My Backwards Walk’, while Craig Finn’s ‘Head Rolls Off’ feels like the most mature and stately cover. In reality though, the highlights of Tiny Changes are more comprehensive that individual. The emotional release that comes from seeing artists like Craig Finn, Julien Baker, Manchester Orchestra, The Twilight Sad, Benjamin Gibbard, Aaron Dessner, and Biffy Clyro (plus many more) come together to celebrate The Midnight Organ Fight
– as well as figuratively pay their respects to Hutchison – is both beautiful and tragic. Maybe somewhere, somehow, he’s smiling at this – and that’s what Tiny Changes
really means. It’s less about critiquing covers against their original counterparts, and more about appreciating this as a moment
. Hutchison affected and influenced so many people thanks in large part to this album, and here that same community unites to hold a vigil in his honor. What a fitting homage to a legend of modern indie folk.