Photo: Maclay Heriot 

Australian folk psych band Babe Rainbow have released their fourth album Changing Colours, via Eureka Music/AWAL/Flightless Records.
Just over six years ago the three core members of Babe Rainbow met in the surf. Angus Dowling, Jack Crowther, and Elliot O’Reilly had barely dried off when they had formed the makings of the band. They worked together as apprentices to English farmer John Cults and saved to record their first music.
Like-minded souls soon caught their music on the wind: Eric at Flightless Records, the label set up to release King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s hefty catalogue of records, welcomed the band into the family, releasing Babe Rainbow’s early string of singles. Stu from King Gizz soon offered to produce their debut album and they were away. Once Danger Mouse released their sounds in the US on his 30th Century Records imprint, the word was well and truly out.
The relaxed nature of their sound belies their work ethic, as Babe Rainbow released three albums in just as many years. The eponymous debut, their sophomore effort Double Rainbow, and 2019’s Today. Piquing the interest of discerning music heads around the world, they sold out the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Point Éphémère in Paris, Elsewhere in New York, Café V Lese in Prague, Monk in Rome, and the Highland Lodge in Los Angeles.
Last year, and with Jack's baby brother Miles Myjavaec now the permanent drummer, Babe Rainbow decamped to Topanga Canyon to start work on album No.4 with regarded producer Kyle Mullarky, who was shaping similar sounds to them on the West Coast. Not surprisingly their music had already caught the ears of L.A’s tight knit psychedelic music community, who had invited Babe Rainbow into their fold.
Filled with inspiration and mountain air, the band returned to the Music Farm in Byron Bay to finish the record, teaming with producer Wayne Connelly, who previously helmed classic records by The Vines and Neil Finn.
The resultant record, Changing Colours, is a leap forward in every way. Babe Rainbow have consolidated all that’s wonderful about their previous music, and pushed further in each direction.
Think the type of music that was floating down from Laurel Canyon in the early 70s, as Crosby, Stills and Nash waited for Young to wander back from the forest. Think The Beach Boys after they had packed up the surfboards, ditched their LA label, and moved to the hills to practice TM and smoke Californian grass. Think Joni.
The track ‘California’ is proof positive that there is always room for another classic paean to the great state, especially one that captures the sunshine and sense of space as Babe Rainbow has done here. If James Taylor released this song in 1972, it would have sold a million.
‘Your Imagination feat Jaden Smith’, a beautiful daydream, a meditation adorned with gentle harmonies and breezy guitars. Fan-turned-friend Jaden lends his particular genius to this track, joining the vocal mantra.
‘Thinking Like A River’ floats downstream for a languorous, luxurious three minutes. Or is it half an hour? Time becomes irrelevant here
It can’t all be head music, though. ‘Ready For Tomorrow’ is Jack's favourite tune from the new record, driven by disco-lite drums, with jazzy guitars weaving between the beats as if leaping a jump rope. Rainbow Rock borrows a baggy beat from the bands of Manchester and drenches it in mystical Byron Bay energy, a phased-out vocal and jazzy guitar licks uproots it from Earth and propels it towards the satellites. It's Elliot's favourite of the new album "It’s quite a trip - and you can dance to it."
Elsewhere, there’s the island-inspired rhythms of first single ‘Zeitgeist’, which drummer and newest member Miles Myjavec say "Zeitgeist feels like very new ground for us, incorporating our strengths and musical passions in a different way to how we've done so in the past." Singer Angus says the stoned singalong ‘New Zealand Spinach’ "made a last minute dash for the album". The dippy Donovan vibes of ‘Curl Free’, and gentle ‘Smile’, like a cork bobbing on the ocean complete the trip. The album closes with the affirmation track "Different Stages of Life".
Babe Rainbow's new album Changing Colours is a relaxed meditation that folds the map between California and Byron Bay; compressing time, like a needle skipping over the past half century of music.
Babe Rainbow - Changing Colours
1. Zeitgeist
2. The Wind
3. Your Imagination
4. Ready For tomorrow
5. California
6. Rainbow Rock
7. New Zealand Spinach
8. Thinking Like A River
9. Curl Free
10. Smile
11. Changing Colours
12. Different Stages of Life
The new album from Babe Rainbow, Changing Colours out now.

You may also like

Back to Top