On 1st December 2020, Dunfermline solo artist Gary Crosbie released his album love, life, rabbit. Two months later, I’m listening on Spotify and finding it predictable; Gary written all over it. It sounds good, it entertains, and it makes sense, mostly. It’s almost exactly how I’ve found Gary in real life.
love, life, rabbit is as expected and that’s good, as I expected the best from a singer/songwriter I’ve appreciated for, I guess, about 6 years now. We’ve even kinda worked together when I booked him to play regularly at The Creepy Wee Pub and Tappie Toories.
The only surprise with love, life, rabbit is it’s extremely well produced. I used to find Gary’s own mixing desk preferences slightly odd. Let’s not dwell there. Instead, congratulations to Dominic Hardy at GraceNote Recordings, Dunfermline, on his studio engineering. Together, Gary and Dominic have created an excellent work of art: an album I can listen to over and over again, especially on a lazy Sunday morning like today (I’m on my third listen already).
The cover art by Ruby Rhod is brilliant too.
My highlights from love, life, rabbit start with track 2. Tear. Actually, haud the bus, on checking Tear is track 2., I just spotted that almost all my highlights are listed as Popular on Spotify. Looks like I’m predictable too.
Tear starts ominously, the bubbling brook from track 1. Call My Name, a heartfelt love song for Hippies, is still bubbling as track 2. Tear begins. The eerie musical shudder tells me something bad is about to happen.
In only 4 minutes and 8 seconds Gary is heartbroken. From lying side-by-side in bliss, listening to her breathing, he’s now counting his loses and making his escape. It’s over, the call and response ending is bitter, appropriately heavy on drums, and angry. I feel like the album could end here. Maybe that’s just me.
I won’t spoil the ending of all the songs, but you can probably guess things aren’t going to go well for the wee rabbit caught in the headlights. I hope that doesn’t reflect Gary in real life, although he has been playing that song for a long time. YouTube tells me I videoed Gary playing Rabbit at The Monarch Bar, Halloween 2016.
Along with Tear and Rabbit, Life and Love are also strikingly good songs. Life’s frivolous cuckoo clock intro quickly turns into a hard, driving, blues-orientated number. It provides contrast; giving shade to an album full of light.
Life and Love blend seemlessly together and I suspect Gary (with producer Dominic) is trying to tell us something. Both tracks display influences from The Beatles, although maybe I’m just saying that ’cause I can’t stop playing the 2018 remix of Helter Skelter – something else worth looking up on Spotify.
Talking of influences, Gary’s penultimate track Diamond features an outstanding guest vocal performance from Laura Crosbie and the song reminds me of one of my favourite bands, The Beautiful South.
There’s also an ever-so-catchy guest vocal from Misha Sutherland on track 4. Just Another Day. Misha’s strong stage presence gives way here to a cute cameo performance, something fans of indie popsters Saint Etienne will love.
Last but not least Ian Clyne plays tasty bass guitar throughout.
Gary Crosbie’s Links
To help you find and buy love, life, rabbit I’ve copied and pasted links from Gary’s Facebook:
Well done Gary and all involved. Another triumph for Dunfermline and Scotland.
TwinsTown’s stunning debut album Brankholm Brae is due out sometime this year, 2021. Watch this space for details.