This Just In: French for Rabbits’ “The Dark Arts” Offers Stirring Reflections on Memory & Meaning

French for Rabbits © Lily Paris West
French for Rabbits © Lily Paris West
A stirring reflection on memory and meaning, French for Rabbits’ song “The Dark Arts” is hauntingly bittersweet and beautiful: A dive into the depths of our humanity arriving at a time that welcomes such philosophical, existential considerations.
Stream: “The Dark Arts” – French for Rabbits




The dark arts of preservation, the mottled collection of displacement. To love them is to know how it feels to be lost and to be left.

No year has done more to make us face our collective temporality than 2020.

The COVID-19 plague has brought concepts of death and loss in the public consciousness more so than ever before. We are fragile, mortal beings – fallible to an illness we can neither see, nor fight with the “modern” tools at our disposal. While it’s often difficult to dwell on such matters, there is truly no better time than the present to reflect on memory and meaning, existence and purpose – which is exactly what French for Rabbits do in their third and final single of 2020. A deeply introspective, poignant exploration of objects, memory, and meaning, “The Dark Arts” is hauntingly bittersweet and intimately beautiful: A dive into the depths of our humanity arriving at a time that welcomes such philosophical, existential thought.

The Dark Arts - French for Rabbits
The Dark Arts – French for Rabbits
Broken pieces
I don’t have to keep them
To sweep them off in circles
Display them around in my living room.
To love them is to know how it feels
to be lost and to be left.
A barnacle shell and a half used film,
marrow of bone and a picture
I drew that I gave to no-one,

there was no-one I knew to give it to.

Released December 4, 2020, “The Dark Arts” is a dreamy upheaval of the self, driven by intent and speckled with heavy, heartfelt emotion. The song finds vocalist and songwriter Brooke Singer, unencumbered by pretense, sharing her most vulnerable self: A lone soul together with her memories and possessions – the sum of a lifetime, but to what end?

“It’s often hard to define what makes an artist distinctive from everyone else, but I think if you were going to try and musically sum up French for Rabbits previous work, then ‘The Dark Arts’ would do it,” Brooke Singer tells Atwood Magazine. “The lyrics are often poetic but then oddly specific, John [Fitzgerald]’s guitar always verby and understated, the drums always with the little detail – layer upon layer upon layer of little elements – the strings and harmonies. I’ve been thinking about slow music – it’s not really designed for the digital age, there isn’t necessarily instant gratification. I guess this song is an example of that, the release comes at the end of the song. Like a good stew! It develops more flavours when it’s not just made in a day in a studio – although I also love that spontaneity too!”

French for Rabbits © Lily Paris West
French for Rabbits © Lily Paris West



Immersed in this defining sound, Singer’s lyrics are both poetic and direct: She spares no expense in a chorus that gives listeners pause, imploring us to consider our own values and how we manifest meaning in the tangibles and intangibles of our lives.

The dark arts of preservation,
the mottled collection of displacement.
To love them is to know how it feels to be lost and to be left.
You know, you remind me of a boy I once knew?

“‘The Dark Arts’ is about memories and objects, the way we imbue things with meaning and project our humanness onto other things – does a broken chair feel sad when you throw it out? Probably not, but perhaps it’s an environmental sadness that we feel? As you can see, I’m an overthinker!” Singer shares. “I did find great joy in including lists of items in it: “A barnacle shell and a half used film, marrow of bone and a picture I drew that I gave to no-one, there was no-one I knew to give it to,” and the song feels very dusty, like the video. I’ve spent a fair bit of time cooped up in my house…like everyone else this year!”

Days comes and it all feels so different, it’s like dust in my hair.
Day comes and I walk outside and back, so dissatisfied.
Day comes and it’s all so clear to me – it’s so dear to me.
When day comes – that I will be standing here mending all of it.
The dark arts of preservation,
The mottled collection of displacement.
To love them is to know how it feels to be lost and to be left.
You know? you remind me of a boy I once knew.
The Tunnel © French for Rabbits
The Tunnel © French for Rabbits



Perhaps “The Dark Arts” would have come naturally to Singer either way, but its relevance and the nature of its creation invite French for Rabbits’ audience into the recesses of our own minds. She approaches temporality with a sense of reckoning, and as per the title, looks at preservation with a wary eye; nothing lasts forever, after all.

It can so often be hard to throw away even the most broken pieces of a “physical” memory. Perhaps it was a gift given to you by a long-lost loved one, or maybe it’s a tattered receipt from a special trip that came and went several years ago; the ink is nearly vanished from the shabby paper, but its value was never in the words on the page, but rather in the scene it conjured in your mind. How do we account for these? How do we take care of all of these things – and do we lost the memory if we lose the thing? Memory is fickle, and we humans can only recall so much without certain triggers. How do we reconcile that?

There Is Light At the End of “The Tunnel” by French for Rabbits

:: VIDEO PREMIERE ::

French for Rabbits don’t bother answering this rhetorical question, but they do succeed in creating a setting for us to confront and actively think about our own keepsakes and personal memorabilia; our personal mottled collections of displacement. “To love them is to know how it feels to be lost and to be left.

No one is asking you to Marie Kondo your life – especially not now – but “The Dark Arts” does invite a wealth of personal, intimate considerations that we might already have on our minds, thanks in no small part to the unsettling events that have transpired over this past year. How you choose to handle your memories and tangibles is up to you; it doesn’t have to be “the dark arts” if you don’t want it to be. French for Rabbits’ song will remain a beautiful testament to our physical and emotional presence either way.

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:: stream/purchase “The Dark Arts” here ::
Stream: “The Dark Arts” – French for Rabbits



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The Dark Arts - French for Rabbits

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📸 © Lily Paris West
cover art © Amy Van Lujk

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:: SONG REVIEW ::

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:: ALBUM PREMIERE ::

:: Stream French for Rabbits ::



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