Dan Mangan’s new single, “In Your Corner,” released this month, is a tribute to singer-songwriter and guitarist Scott Hutchison, who founded the modern indie rock band, Frightened Rabbits. The song was written in the days following Scott’s death in 2018.
“In Your Corner” is a response to Dan’s favourite Frightened Rabbits song, “Woodpile,” with its lines, “Will you come back to my corner / Spent too long alone tonight.”
He plays off the band’s corner metaphor and incorporates it into his song to commemorate Scott’s passing.
Scott really struggled with mental health, said Dan, adding that it was hard to lose an honoured musician that he enjoyed listening to.
“The thing that made me so sad was that this guy was so adored, so loved, so respected, he couldn’t believe it, or appreciate it,” Dan said.
The song came easily to him, he said, as it was an outlet to express the sadness of losing someone he related to on a musical level and shared mutual friends with.
“When I heard the news, [I was] just being a mess for days and crying. I didn’t know him very well or anything, but he was a peer. He was about my age,” he said.
His favourite lyric in his new song is, “Why can’t this year see a way out?”
It’s “One of the best lines I’ve ever written,” Dan said. “The idea the most insightful people among us tend to suffer the most. Ignorance is bliss and enlightenment is hell, and these people who are so gifted and so insightful, but they can’t see your way out.”
The lyric speaks to who Scott was as a musician, he added. He had so much talent, but it couldn’t save him from his mental health struggles.
The song has brought listeners together and has created an opportunity for people to speak about their own difficulties with mental health or loved ones they wish to support during hard times, Dan said. The song is a mechanism and a reminder that there are always people to lean on.
“The intention is to be for anybody else who feels desperately alone,” he said.
Dan Mangan is currently touring in Canada. His schedule is available here.