Watch Scott Hutchison adorably explain depression to a child

Five years ago today, my wife and I were driving up to Montreal for a long vacation weekend. We pulled over for gas somewhere just before we reached the Canada border, and I pulled out my phone to learn that Scott Hutchison, lead singer of Frightened Rabbit, had been killed by his depression.

I think that's the only time I've ever broken down in tears over the death of a celebrity. (Not that he was even that big of a "celebrity" to begin with!)

Hutchison's songwriting was truly incredible. He found the most brutally raw ways to talk about his struggles with mental health. Even more remarkable is how often he did it with humor, too — the black deprecation of gallows humor, sure, but in a way that was so visceral and authentic that it made things so much more real. And he was humble, too. "Acts of Man," the lead track off their album Pedestrian Verse, might be the most perfect distillation of the concept of "toxic masculinity" that I've ever heard — and Hutchison never shied away from the fact that he was complicit in that ugly system, too. Even when he talks about sex in his songs, its sticky and awkward and embarrassing and beautiful.

In the video above from 2013, Hutchison is getting ready to do an acoustic performance of his song "The Modern Leper" — on a pirate ship in a forest, cuz why not? — when he notices a small child standing near the stage. "The Modern Leper" deals brutally with living with an invisible disability and the impact it can have on relationships. For whatever reason, Hutchison is inspired. He stops the song after a few lines, and directly addresses the kid, providing a little context for the song in a way that's beautiful and heartwarming, without ever shying away from the darkness of it all. It's a tender, silly moment — but one that's underscored with earnestness and melancholy. I think it's a perfect microcosm of Hutchison's poetry.

(Related, I saw Frank Turner in Boston on Sunday night, and he played his song "A Wave Across the Bay" — a tribute to Hutchison that imagines the moment just before his death. It's a difficult song, that does arguably break some of the heterodoxy around discussing suicide. But I think it's a powerful one. And hearing it, alongside friends who have also lost loved ones to suicide, in a city that Hutchison was always excited to visit because of the rare and excellent Scottish pub in my neighborhood — it was cathartic.)