Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison likes covering his favorite artists’ songs — check out his SPIN Sessions take on Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Song Against Sex” for proof positive. Now, he’s done a gripping solo acoustic version of “Different Names for the Same Thing,” off Plans, the 2005 album by his current tourmates, Death Cab for Cutie. Watch it here.
Recorded alongside a river at the recent Osheaga festival outside Montreal, Hutchison offers a rustic reinterpretation of the original. “I almost tried to ‘countrify’ the song, as it has such a strong beautiful melody,” Hutchison tells SPIN. “It’s a very simple song at its core, so I just stuck with that basic structure and let it be plaintive and sad.”
This cover was important to Hutchison for two reasons, one personal, and one charitable. “Sometimes a song permeates a relationship and becomes its main theme music,” he says. “Plans, and especially that song, has done that for me over the past four years.”
But the song was also meant to be a thank-you to fans who’ve supported Invisible Children, a non-profit working to end the long-running conflict in Northern Uganda, in which children are often used a soldiers who are abducted from their homes and forced to fight. The organization has a presence on the current Frightened Rabbit/Death Cab tour — read more here.
“I think that the charity’s work through bands such a great way to reach people directly, on the road,” Hutchison says. “Face to face, person to person encounters are so much more effective than blanket campaigns. Charity work should be personal as well as widespread and I think this is a great way to achieve both.”
Watch: Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, “Different Names for the Same Thing” (Death Cab for Cutie cover)