French For Rabbits – Ouiji Board (AAA Records / Reckless Yes / A Modest Proposal)

French For Rabbits – Ouiji Board (AAA Records / Reckless Yes / A Modest Proposal)

New Zealand dreampop band French For Rabbits warm up for release of album The Overflow with single and video for Ouiji Board, out digitally on AAA Records, Reckless Yes (UK) and A Modest Proposal (Italy).

French For Rabbits Ouiji Board press shot by Lily Paris WestArtist: French For Rabbits
Release: Ouiji Board
Label: AAA Records / Reckless Yes / A Modest Proposal
Released: 13 August 2021
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

There is nothing about the white-clad, masked figures, soft-stepping through golden sands on the video accompanying Ouiji Board, the new single from New Zealand dreampop band French For Rabbits, which should feel familiar, and yet…

Amid a bleached seascape they move, masked faces looking on at themselves, between black and white and technicolour worlds. In their biomorphic absurdity there remains the familiar yearning to belong, and the weight which comes from having to choose between being held in what we know, and the possibility of what we don’t. And as we make that choice we must still play the bureaucratic game; even in a world presented as so different from our own freedom is hemmed in by process, our thoughts and feelings steered by others.

The beautiful and surrealist video, with masks by Oamaru artist Donna Demente, was made with the band’s long-time collaborator Misma Andrews and evokes the work of Derek Jarman, inviting us to find ourselves in this other place. It perfectly fits with the lush sounds, and introspective narrative of the track.

Ouiji Board brings to Beatles-esque ubiquitous melody quirkiness, dry humour, and echoing nuance through layers of soft sound to be gentle in delivery but lyrically searching. There is darkness at the heart, protected by the bright and calm delivery.

“There’s nowhere else to go from here but up / Been losing my mind, feels on the edge of time”

Slow waves of guitar break over the worn-smooth organ, bright vocals are tempered in harmony, and sound and vision are alternative versions of each other. As the figures in the video they reach a hand between inter-locking worlds, the masks leave it to us to project the emotion, mirroring the central theme of the song trying to understand and connect when another will not reveal their inner world to you: ‘I’ve been filling every gap in every line that you don’t speak’.

It follows earlier single The Overflow, title track from the forthcoming album, and continues to build a catalogue of songs which stunningly find the balance between complexity and nuance, lean deeply into melody, and find strength in vocalising vulnerability.

Ouiji Board from French For Rabbits is out digitally now. It comes ahead of album The Overflow due out 12 November on vinyl, CD and digital on AAA Records, Reckless Yes (UK) and A Modest Proposal (Italy).

Find French For Rabbits: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

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Disclosure: Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica and co-founder of Reckless Yes, so has some involvement in the release of this record – but she really does only write about or work on music she loves.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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