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A New Take on DIY: An Interview with Louise Chicoine of Rabbit Rabbit (Northampton Blog)

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Northampton’s New Musical Sound: Rabbit Rabbit

A New Take on DIY: An Interview with Louise Chicoine of Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit. Photo courtesy of AdaTake a look at the world surrounding you. Notice how much of it has been developed upon, robbed of its roots and replaced by steel rods and concrete. Hopefully you have just come to the same disappointing revelation that Louise Chicoine, singer/leader of Rabbit Rabbit came to: beauty is not enough to save nature from destruction. “All good things must end,” is the notion that compelled her to dedicate Rabbit Rabbit’s newest songs to nature.

One might shy away from “nature albums” by assuming they are all campy sermons delivered by an outraged hippie who sits atop his tie-dyed high-horse. Rabbit Rabbit does not strive to try and save nature through its music, but instead embody it, wear it as a glove for handing the difficult parts of life. Louise Chicoine has a talent for personifying certain animals and natural phenomenon to illuminate the depth of the human character. For instance, in “Moth”, she compares the life of a moth to that of a human who is stumbling along, blind and yet trying so hard to find a way to an answer.

Rabbit Rabbit’s songs are not happy-go-lucky ballads for rainbows. Their intricate narrative possesses a wry humor which is at times irreverent and at others absurdist. Louise’s swooning tone mixes with uneasy instrumentals in the background, creating the icing for a moody instrumental track.

Accompanying Louise is Jeremy Dubs on the drums, Nico Jordan on guitar, and Rebecca Macomber on the bass. Jeremy Dubs punctuates the rhythm of the songs by playing quick and punchy beats like those in hip hop. He builds suspense by suddenly quitting the hi hat, and then dropping back onto the whole set with a quick intense roll.  Rebecca lays down simple and yet often very funky grooves which give a much needed contrast to Rabbit Rabbit’s wild songs. Nico Jordan, despite his mellowed out appearance, knows how to rip guitar solos, and when he does so they match the intensity of Louise who leads the show by frantically threading her lyrics through the darkened seams of her songs. Performing live, Louise’s tall form morphs into a live fuse through which the raw energy of Rabbit Rabbit storms. During the especially dramatic moments of music, she is nearly keeled over with the outbursts or kneeling on the floor, ravenously feasting on the strange bounty of sound that emerges.

In my interview with Louise Chicoine I learned how she came up with the song “Volcanologico”. While listening to Elaine Khan of Horsebladder, she became disturbed by the extreme sexuality of her lyrics. As she put it, “up until then I had thought about making my music something that everyone could appreciate. I was on war path to make music that anyone could absorb.” But then she rethought that notion, and decided that it was not worthwhile to appease the masses if it meant restraining her own sexuality. Volcanos, like people, have to explode, and if they don’t then there will be an unhealthy buildup of tension. Volcanos possess the power of raw untapped energy, which is just waiting to explode, trapped inside but ready to unleash. In “Volcanologico”, Louise tosses her previous caution to the wind and sings in a coquettish tone:

“If you like my legs up to my body, to my tips, you should see when I move about.”

In “Nimbus”, Louise uses the perspective of a cloud to form the strained basis for interaction between two humans.

As Louise put it, “I created this song from the perspective of a nimbus. I wondered how that cloud might feel, looking down on us.”

A cloud and a human can see each other, but can’t relate or affect each other. She explained that this was often how it is with people in real life, that people often expect unreasonable things from each other. Though connection is a good thing, and one can sympathize with those down on their luck, one shouldn’t be expected to fix someone else’s life for him/her. The song represents the frustration one can feel when constantly affronted by other people’s problems. It begins with Louise chanting, “Who are you?” four times in a tone whose soothing nature contrasts the question’s interrogative nature.

It then continues, “I’ve had enough of these crazy people. I’d wish they’d leave me alone. I’m not your sister, or a soldier. I can’t save you from the weight on your shoulders.”

Their music represents a strange mixture of zany and dark. It is psychedelically grounded and strange in a delightful way. The mood of their songs ranges between playful and tempestuous and the musicianship that carries the mood is as strong as a bull and as nimble as a rabbit rabbit.

On June 6th they will be playing at The Flywheel in Easthampton at eight o’clock for all ages. The admission price is six dollars. On July 7th they will be playing at the 119 Gallery in Lowell. Check out their music at

Ezra Prior is a Contributor to The Free George. Photo Courtesy of Ada

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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