Melbourne alt folk group Run Rabbit Run have just dropped their EP Bloodlines in light of several single releases over the last few years. The record interweaves dark lyricism with bright, infectious acoustic guitar lines as well as some choral, anthemic accompaniments.
It’s energetic and beautifully produced, a unique take on Australian folk and one which we highly recommend you explore. Happy caught up with singer/songwriter Casey Martin to unpack Bloodlines, the past year of recording, and what inspiration brought the record to fruition.
Cinematic folk with brooding and mournful alt undertones, Run Rabbit Run offer up an eclectic takes on the traditional with Bloodlines.
To start, it felt imperative that the instrumental be addressed. A bold and exciting inclusion, we were eager to hear more about how these elements were integrated into the EP, and why the choice to fill Bloodlines with such emotional and invigorating musicianship.
“In all honesty, it wasn’t really a decision we made consciously. The instrumentation on the EP was what it was because that’s what we heard when writing the songs. It was really a case of, how can we push ourselves to get these songs to sound like they do in our heads.
“In the case of our track Old Soul, I knew from the start that it was going to have strings and horns in it, but it was a real challenge because I had to learn how to arrange for those instruments. Trying to pen down what I was hearing in my head proved to be pretty difficult and at times really stressful, but that song ended up being a highlight for us, so I think all the hard work paid off.”
And paid off it certainly did. Marrying expressive, overwhelming sounds with poignant and intelligent lyricism becomes apparent as a constant theme throughout Bloodlines. There are some important stories being told here and for a listener, this only entices you further.
“I think that because we have two lead singer/songwriters in the band, it definitely does give us a bit of diversity in our sound. Yeah, for the most part the songs are written about some heavier times in our lives. For whatever reason, my songs always spiral into analogies of death and other grim business. Maybe we shoot for lighter tonal sounds so we don’t bum people out too much, haha.”
As with any great recording, it’s always a treat to know who the artist was listening to and connecting with in order to come up with the record.
“In terms of approaching writing, we were listening to a lot of Hey Rosetta, The Middle East, and Noah & The Whale, amongst others. We wanted the EP to have a really comfortable live feel to it, which I think was inspired a lot by Fleet Foxes and The Middle East in particular. It’s that sense that you’re listening to an album and not just a playlist of songs that we wanted to achieve (and hopefully did).”
In addition to this, it was clear that the band had taken a progressive angle with the writing and recording of Bloodlines. As Casey explained:
“I think when we talk about being ‘Progressive Folk-Rock’ it doesn’t necessarily apply to all of our music, but this EP does show that side of us more than past things we’ve released. I was inspired in my writing style by some heavier bands like Architects and Between the Buried and Me, so I love those drastic musical changes.”
“I’m also a particularly big sucker for big epic outros, and songs that you’ve got to invest time into for a big payoff in the end. We’ve definitely got much more progressive songs that are yet to be recorded, and some much less prog-y ones as well.”
And this isn’t the last you’ve seen of Run Rabbit Run, as they’re heading out on tour with the record and will be hitting a bunch of venues around Australia. With an EP of such depth, it’s always interesting to see how that translates onstage, and from what we’ve heard it sounds like a live set is definitely something you want to witness.
“The EP is definitely an extension of how we treat our live shows. We’re pretty energetic on stage, I think because most of us were into heavier music when we were younger. We definitely try to be as dynamic as possible, and we pretty much have as many instruments as we can fit on stage with us.”
“The tour though, we’re pretty excited about. We just played the first show of the tour in Adelaide with our friends It’s a Hoax and Bermuda Bay, which went really well. We’re off to Warrnambool next, and we have a few special surprises lined up just for our Melbourne show next week that we’re pretty excited about.”
Wrapping up there was one questions we felt couldn’t be missed, and that was the story of the rabbit. Either these guys are deep into hunting or they just love bunnies, either way there’s a story and it couldn’t go untold.
“Well we don’t necessarily like rabbits all that much, we just don’t wish any harm to them, and that’s why we’re encouraging them to keep running!”
“But really it’s a Pink Floyd reference. We’re big fans.”
So if you’re keen to catch some diverse and engaging folk, get yourselves to a Run Rabbit Run show.