French for Rabbits is music in dreamtime

Dark, dreamy music has taken the band touring the world, including France.

Dark, dreamy music has taken the band touring the world, including France.

GHOSTS AND MEMORIES: You’ve heard their music on TV series The Vampire Diaries and now Wellington five-piece French for Rabbits are bringing their “dream pop” sound to the Dome. Picture by Ebony Lamb

FRENCH For Rabbits are not French and they are not rabbits, but they do produce dark, dreamy music that has taken them touring around the world, including France.

The Wellington five-piece’s founder, Brooke Singer, describes the French for Rabbits sound as “dream-pop”, music inspired by that space between waking and sleeping where people have their most vivid dreams.

“When I write it’s like stream-of-consciousness writing. It’s like when you have a dream and you look back on it later and it usually makes sense in the context of your life,” says Singer.

“That’s what it’s like with my songs. It’s the kind of music I would like to listen to when I’m going to sleep.”

It is also music a lot of people associate with vampires, apparently. French For Rabbits’ music features on American television series The Vampire Diaries and has 142,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

“We’ve been on a few vampire series,” Singer says.

“We have a publicist and they arrange to get our stuff on television shows. It just so happens that our music happens to fit well with vampire series.”

Singer fronts the band on vocals and piano alongside guitarist John Fitzgerald, drummer Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, and multi-instrumentalists Ben Lemi (Trinity Roots) and Penelope Esplin. Through the television coverage, the reach of internet, and plain talent, French for Rabbits have fans all over the world.

“We spent about three years touring quite a lot overseas and here,” says Singer.

“A lot of different kind of shows, from house concerts to clubs. It’s quite a crazy life when you’re touring — driving long distances, you’re around people all the time . . . but it’s amazing to turn up to gigs in say, Eastern Europe and they know your music.”

One of her most memorable experiences was performing in a venue in Paris where legendary entertainers Charlie Chaplin and Edith Piaf had once graced the stage.

“Luckily I didn’t know that before we played at the venue. It was the first show of our tour, there were 3000 seats and I was already nervous enough.”

The band was touring its debut album around Europe at that time. French for Rabbits is now about to tour the band’s second album The Weight of Melted Snow.

Lemi wrote one of the songs but the rest of the album was written by Singer and Fitzgerald.

“There are some political songs in there but we wrote half the album when John (Fitzgerald) and I were together,” says Singer.

“We broke up half way through that album and then wrote the other half of the album about that.”

Singer and Fitzgerald are still friends and will be on stage to deliver the pre- and post-break up numbers during the New Zealand tour.

“It will be interesting to hear the whole album played together,” says Singer.

Presented by Under the Radar, French for Rabbits will be in Gisborne for the first time to perform on the day of their album release.

FRENCH For Rabbits are not French and they are not rabbits, but they do produce dark, dreamy music that has taken them touring around the world, including France.

The Wellington five-piece’s founder, Brooke Singer, describes the French for Rabbits sound as “dream-pop”, music inspired by that space between waking and sleeping where people have their most vivid dreams.

“When I write it’s like stream-of-consciousness writing. It’s like when you have a dream and you look back on it later and it usually makes sense in the context of your life,” says Singer.

“That’s what it’s like with my songs. It’s the kind of music I would like to listen to when I’m going to sleep.”

It is also music a lot of people associate with vampires, apparently. French For Rabbits’ music features on American television series The Vampire Diaries and has 142,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

“We’ve been on a few vampire series,” Singer says.

“We have a publicist and they arrange to get our stuff on television shows. It just so happens that our music happens to fit well with vampire series.”

Singer fronts the band on vocals and piano alongside guitarist John Fitzgerald, drummer Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, and multi-instrumentalists Ben Lemi (Trinity Roots) and Penelope Esplin. Through the television coverage, the reach of internet, and plain talent, French for Rabbits have fans all over the world.

“We spent about three years touring quite a lot overseas and here,” says Singer.

“A lot of different kind of shows, from house concerts to clubs. It’s quite a crazy life when you’re touring — driving long distances, you’re around people all the time . . . but it’s amazing to turn up to gigs in say, Eastern Europe and they know your music.”

One of her most memorable experiences was performing in a venue in Paris where legendary entertainers Charlie Chaplin and Edith Piaf had once graced the stage.

“Luckily I didn’t know that before we played at the venue. It was the first show of our tour, there were 3000 seats and I was already nervous enough.”

The band was touring its debut album around Europe at that time. French for Rabbits is now about to tour the band’s second album The Weight of Melted Snow.

Lemi wrote one of the songs but the rest of the album was written by Singer and Fitzgerald.

“There are some political songs in there but we wrote half the album when John (Fitzgerald) and I were together,” says Singer.

“We broke up half way through that album and then wrote the other half of the album about that.”

Singer and Fitzgerald are still friends and will be on stage to deliver the pre- and post-break up numbers during the New Zealand tour.

“It will be interesting to hear the whole album played together,” says Singer.

Presented by Under the Radar, French for Rabbits will be in Gisborne for the first time to perform on the day of their album release.

French for Rabbits perform at the Dome Room, March 10. $18. Tickets are available from The Aviary or online at www.undertheradar.co.nz

A sneak peek of the album

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