The music video for Broken Shadows (the debut single off Dead Rainbow) blew minds, and set the bar almost unreachably high for the official release of the 6-track EP. Thematically Dead Rainbow delves into the balancing of two opposite extremes, like bright colours in a dark setting.
Disappear is the first track to meet your ears on the EP. It’s one of the darker and grungier tracks, and could easily fit as the soundtrack to a sci-fi movie. The very distinct, yet muffled background vocals sound like a Transformer trying to communicate under water. Disappear does a superb job at creating a menacing yet intriguing atmosphere. Broken Shadows is one of the stars of the Dead Rainbow show. The way Mikhaela’s voice strides over the generally harsh track is genuinely refreshing and impressive. The lyrics “I’m still waiting” are repeated more than any of the other lyrics, and allude to something that’s far from over, maybe an unfinished romance.
Phantom Orchids feels like one of the more organic tracks on Dead Rainbow. It has an expectedly ominous start, but a few more seconds in and it unexpectedly has a relaxed, Sunday afternoon feel to it, with a piano giving it jazzy undertones.
The collaboration with Johannesburg-based experimental beat producer Hlasko is an enchanting one. The track is titled Petrichor, and the vocals are that of an eerie chant which provides the otherwise light and whimsical track with depth and a darker side. The light percussion instruments and humming, with lyrics like “Is it easier to live than it is to die?”, all emphasise the balance between two opposite extremes, like living and dying.
A Million Microdots, is more upbeat than its predecessor. Of all the tracks on this EP this is the most unexpected one. It’s not near as menacing as Disappear or as harsh as Broken Shadows for example, but it firmly stands its ground and adds an element of lightheartedness to the EP.
Dead Rainbow, (the last track) begins slow and unsuspecting, but just when you think you have it figured out, a head-banging beat that sounds like your speakers are about to burst, washes over the entire track and hauls you into it. The traditional African drums towards the end, makes it authentic and adds to its absoloute manic nature.