The Babe Rainbow broaden their range on Double Rainbow.
Double Rainbow is the wholesome follow up to their 2017 self-titled debut. The sophomore record sees the Byron hippies pick up a few new instruments to forge another collection of strong, catchy psychedelia. Though it’s not a massive step forward from their first album, the band cover some more ground on Double Rainbow, which ultimately plays to their favour.
Babes’ ‘60s psychedelia falls quite close in the musical timeline to blues, so it feels natural that the formative genre makes an appearance. The influence is most obvious on ‘Darby and Joan’, which is sensible, as the title is a reference to archetypical elderly couples living their retirement’s quietly – an old-school sounding track with an old-fashioned reference. Album closer ‘New Attitude’ is another laid-back bluesy affair, resulting from the dusty electric piano that give Babes’ chill ‘60s psych a… new attitude.
The old keyboard isn’t the only instrument that the trio debut on Double Rainbow. A peculiar synth quietly wobbles in the background of opener ‘The Magician’ and memorable lead-single ‘Supermoon’. The sitar also has a memorable presence, stealing the limelight on the two final tracks of side A – the notable ‘Eureka’ and the long-winded interlude ‘Alan Chadwick’s Garden’.
Following the sitar-centric side A closers, side B represent a contrasting style of the Babes. Side A is buoyant, whereas side B is slow and relaxing. It’s no blight on the album though, as the smoky flute-filled ‘Bella Luna’ and kooky circus love song ‘Running Back’ are highlights of the album – even without the immediate joy of side A’s best in ‘Supermoon’ and ‘Eureka’.
Where Babes’ debut falls away after the single-packed first half, Double Rainbow’s quality doesn’t wane. It’s strong throughout, and a more polished effort.
Stream Double Rainbow in full below: