Ethereal dream-pop luminaries French for Rabbits are bringing their naturalistic musical alchemy to intimate venues around New Zealand in November and December on The Dark Arts tour. The band will play eight shows through the North and South islands, including two multi-dimensional shows in the Adam Auditorium at City Gallery Wellington.
Excitingly, they promise to preview new material from their forthcoming album (due 2021) on the tour. Recorded between Covid-19 restrictions with producer Jol Mulholland (Tami Neilson, Delaney Davidson), it feels like their most immediate, optimistic and creative record to date.
The Dark Arts tour is named after a song from it that portrays hoarding as an act of sentimentality "a barnacle shell, and a half-used film, marrow of a bone, and a picture I drew (that I gave to no one, there was no-one I knew to give it to). The dark arts of preservation, a mottled collection of displacement. To love them, is to know how it feels to be lost and to be left". In a similar fashion, their other songs observe and frame both the inane and the complex moments of life to make them glimmer with new meaning.
Originally formed in the small coastal township of Waikuku Beach by vocalist and songwriter Brooke Singer and guitarist John Fitzgerald, French for Rabbits now includes multi-instrumentalists Ben Lemi (Trinity Roots, Dawn Diver) and Penelope Esplin (Grawlixes) alongside drummer Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa. They have released three records including the NZ Music Award nominated debut EP Claimed by the Sea in 2012, and toured extensively through Europe and the US.