French For Rabbit’s album Weight of Melted Snow is not as melancholic as the title would suggest. Their second album is more of a frolic into new territory, in a sound that’s more expansive than in Claimed by the Sea and Spirits.
The band’s richly layered, carefully crafted songs are open, yet never too earnest, and the Weight of Melted Snow takes songs in surprising new directions.
Since they bounded on the scene in 2011, French For Rabbits have carved a niche as laid-back dream pop – while keeping some fairly biting lyrics in there when necessary (think of their anti-drilling protest song, ‘The Other Side,’ for example). 
Things have changed at the core of the band, which started as a duo but has now expanded to five members. Founders and main songwriters Brooke Singer and John Fitzgerald have been joined by Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa on drums, who was drafted in a couple of years back for their live set, the expanded lineup includes multi-instrumentalists Ben Lemi and Penelope Esplin.
Lyrics have always been a strong point of the group, and they get open and personal on break up songs, the exceptional ‘The Weight of Melted Snow,’ and ‘One and Only.’
 The songwriting is as beautiful as ever, from the vocals doubled with guitar on ‘The Weight of Melted Snow’, to the rhythmic piano, and pulse of ‘It Will Be Okay,’ or the fragile ‘Days Shift’, the band know how to sculpt their dreamy sound to perfection. 
The rich, layered sound – a hallmark of the band – becomes even more full with a larger band, and has gone in some different directions with some of the production, becoming lighter and even groovy (such as on ‘Dead Wood’ or the particularly catchy ‘Your Halo,’ with bouncing bass and a crescendo-ing guitar line).
There is a greater palette in the album, with some unexpected moments, such as on ‘Bird’s Eye Point of View,’ where Singer’s voice takes a back seat in the mix to Ben Lemi’s (Trinity Roots). This approach also means that sometimes the fragility of Singer’s voice, soundscaping and songwriting get lost in some of what is going on around it; all in all, however, the album is as gorgeous as you would expect. They have deservedly forged a place as one of New Zealand’s most intriguing groups. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *