Briar Rabbit finds a way to make even the most life-shattering events into fun sing-a-longs that play perfectly at parties or, if you’re like me, when driving alone in a car and singing at the top of your lungs. I don’t remember what or where I heard Briar Rabbit first, but I know that immediately there was something special about him. With his new single “So Long,” he has proven me right yet again.
If the Berklee College Of Music grad had told me that he’d majored in breakup songs with a minor in arrangements, I would have believed him. His combination of words and music is lithe, and there aren’t many singer/songwriters you can say that about. All the pieces come together perfectly in this piece of pop perfection that’s over in a blink of an eye. It’s amazing how many elements can fit into a two and a half minute tune. The content is heavy, but it breezes by you so fast you have to listen again.
The lyrics, about making peace with a relationship’s end, are painful and true. They’re softened a bit by the organ of Josh Moshier and Matt Margeson’s percussion, but the emotions are still there. I love the second verse, which goes:
So sick of scanning every public place for your face
just in case you decide to show up unannounced
As if we mapped and divvied up this town when it ended
This hell I propel has to end
There are glimmers of country, folk, and blues. Folk-pop, I guess, is the best way to describe it. If you need something to reference, imagine the song “My Hummibgbird Heart” by Homemade Knives mixed with some Frightened Rabbit and add in the energy of The Lumineers. It does feel big like a Lumineers song. I imagine it was written on acoustic, and I’d be interested to hear it that way. It could be a very sad song stripped down to its bare essentials. I really enjoy it as is, though. There are plenty of breakup songs that can make you cry-we need more that make you feel good (but not like Eamon’s “F*** It[I Don’t Want You Back].”)
“So Long” is the first single off Briar Rabbit’s upcoming release From Your Bones. The full album drops September 10th, so until then you’ll have to make due with listening to this song over and over.