Tickets are now available for the second night of Fiddlehead at Rescue Rooms!
Formed with the most modest of expectations, Fiddlehead has unexpectedly become one of the most vital groups in rock music. Their fervent audience responds to the urgency of their music. But also the intensely human exploration of loss that’s coloured so much of the band’s output. Fiddlehead’s previous albums, 2018’s Springtime and Blind and 2021’s Between The Richness, dealt heavily with grief from different perspectives. Now their latest album, Death Is Nothing To Us, draws together many of the catalog’s through-lines sonically and lyrically. The album finds Fiddlehead so deeply delving into the pain, confusion, nuances, and contradictions of sadness. So willingly wrapping their arms around a concept as existentially baffling as death itself. That they’ve created an album that is truly life-affirming.
“I don’t want people to romanticise grief and depression, myself included,” vocalist Patrick Flynn explains. “But I wanted to write about the way loss can perpetuate this feeling of sadness in your life. I didn’t intend to make some kind of thematic trilogy but there is this connection to the first two records, and this album sort of rounds out some of the stages of grief that weren’t addressed previously–especially this feeling of stickiness that a depressive attitude can have.” This is the mental space where Death Is Nothing To Us exists. With Flynn observing the confounding allure of sorrow. The difficulty of holding onto so many conflicting internal and external hurts at once. He approaches this subject matter with a deftness and intensity that can only be matched by that of the music itself.
Since forming in 2014, Fiddlehead–Flynn, drummer Shawn Costa, guitarists Alex Henery and Alex Dow, and bassist Nick Hinsch–have been honing their unique sound. Bringing together the energy of hardcore, the anthemic melodies of ‘90s alternative. The unbridled passion of Revolution Summer era emo. For Death Is Nothing To Us, the band again teamed with producer/engineer Chris Teti. His punchy production captures the spark of Fiddlehead’s live show while doing justice to the massive guitars. With undeniable catchiness that makes their music so immensely satisfying. The album’s concise 27 minutes sound like a natural extension of all of the band’s strengths. Embracing the more melodic sensibilities of Between The Richness. While maintaining the visceral bite of Springtime and Blind. “We knew we wanted to do something a little more aggressive sounding,” explains Henery. “That kind of stuff grounds the band. I think maybe people would have expected us to go cleaner with this LP but I see this as a real mix of the first two.”
The band’s agile sound, has fiery attack and soaring choruses. It’s glued together by Flynn’s singular tuneful roar. From his seminal early band Have Heart, to Fiddlehead and his many projects in-between (Clear, Wolf Whistle, Free, Sweet Jesus…). The vocalist has earned a reputation as one of the most engaging performers in hardcore. But also one of the genre’s most thoughtful lyricists. Here, on Death Is Nothing To Us, his lyrics cross into the rarified air where they could stand on their own, without the music. Across the album, Flynn seamlessly interweaves his ruminations on life, death, and all the joy and tragedy in between. With references to Roman philosopher Lucretius; the author Jean Améry; other musicians like Bad Brains, Alex G, or Wire (doubling as a nod to the iconic Minor Threat cover of“12XU”). Even titles and lyrics from Fiddlehead’s own back catalog.
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