There's no band near as groovy as Babe Rainbow. If you were lucky enough to snag tickets to their recent Melbourne gigs, you'd know the laidback, chilled out energy they naturally exude. Their latest album Changing Colours is a perfectly cultivated mix of all the funky tunes before them, effortlessly smooth & vibey as it is uncomplicated and unpretentious.
Changing Colours reflects a pause - to breathe, to feel & to ground in the present. The band has had a busy year, all four of them becoming fathers & creating their third record. Each track is a reminder of the importance of slowing down & appreciating what's around you.
'Ready For Tomorrow' mesmerises with a summary bassline. Angus Dowling's buttery-smooth vocals noting society's lack of presentness ('People Always Getting Ready For tomorrow / It Doesn't Matter What You Do'), a meditation on letting the natural flow of life pass by. 'Thinking Like A River' is a slower tune hypnotising with a blend of beating, background drums & mellifluous guitar strings. 'The Wind' stuns with a dazed ambience & breathy vocals, relaying the reminder to be here now ('Hold Onto Me And Return To Now / Turn Around'). It's in these three stand-out tracks, alongside others like the psychedelic instrumental Changing Colours, that Babe Rainbow prove their growth as artists. Evolving from their 2019 album Today, each track on the new record has a purpose, individual in their own way, though flowing breezily to the next.
Surfy and rhythmic, the band describe the record's opener, Zeitgeist, as a tune about 'catching dreams from the clouds and growing up.' This one's more of a tune you can dance to. Dowling's chill vocals guide the beat to rise at the chorus & relax in the verses, singing on the contentment of the simple things like peeling mandarins. Coming full circle, the departing track 'Different Stages of Life' follows a narrative on adulthood & being 'old enough to know better by now', soft strings and talky vocals emulating the genre of 70s folk.
Babe Rainbow is known for reviving 60s psychedelia. Mellow tunes like 'California', 'Rainbow Rock' & 'New Zealand Spinach' sound like hymns from the Hippie Movement, where all that exists is sunshine, nature, love and hallucinogens.
The band define their sound as 'God Picking Sunflowers', and although stereotypically Byron Bay, it couldn't be more accurate. Take 'Smile' for example, which flows with catchy acoustics & sugary-sweet lyrics: 'Aah, aah, I just can't let go of this smile'. The same goes for 'Your
Imagination', a play on Willy Wonka's famous tune featuring artist Jaden Smith (Stylised Jaden), that jolts with electrified, child-like optimism. Differing from other tracks, this one includes spoken-word poetry from Smith, though it remains very much in touch with the Babe Rainbow sound.
Their composition of relaxed, surfy instrumentals and unmatchable positivity source sound from waves crashing on the shore and birds chirping, 'Curl Free' notes & content stillness the band feel ('The Waves In My Ocean / Are So Curl Free'). They're just carefree and vibing, and you can't help but vibe with them.
Changing Colours is nothing experimental from Babe Rainbow. But that's the best thing about it. The band add to their calibre of 60's psych, groove-infused melodies & atmospheric sunshine. Not becoming stagnant in what they put out, but confident in the whimsical charm of their sound.
You can find Changing Colours by Babe Rainbow everywhere on all streaming platforms.
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