Week in Pop: Ed Askew, José Díaz Rohena, LUKA, Midnight Opera

Sjimon Gompers

The prolific José Díaz Rohena steps out from behind the mixing board to showcase new material; photographed by Sarah Macreading.

Rainbow Reservoir

Spilling out insights with Rainbow Reservoir; press photo courtesy of the band.

Connecticut by way of Oxford, UK’s Rainbow Reservoir mixes their own bright brand of scuzz from both sides of the pond into one package of dissonant bliss. Following up 2016’s Coco Sleeps Around EP, the trio are prepping their debut album titled Channel Hanna available in January from Odd Box Records where the volume levels have been amplified beyond the max. Presenting a look & listen to their fun video for “Fuzzy”, featuring puppetry from the band’s Angela Space & Ian Hargest; all of the warmest & fuzziest feels are let loose in a polychrome array of sock sycophants that exhibit an illustrious & energetic bouquet of expressions elevated to song.

From DIY animations to playtime puppet shows—Rainbow Reservoir brings all the warm & overwhelming upbeat sentiments that moves the narrative from bedroom pop to mainstage bop. Like a DIY version of The Muppet Show or a live cable access program; “Fuzzy” is the anthem that exalts those stream of anxious & excited feelings that are expressed in a cyclone of sentiment where adjectives are illustrated with the same swiftness as the individual experiences them. Rainbow Reservoir craft together a portrait that is certain to bring a smile to the faces of the downtrodden with a raging rallying cry of hope with liberal arrays of unbridled happiness.

Angela from Rainbow Reservoir took the time to chat with us about their new album & more via the following interview:

Interested in hearing about the processes & purposes that were poured into the making of the new album Channel Hanna for Odd Box.

I always feel like I’m bubbling over with choruses, lyric ideas and pop punk melodies and if I don’t release them from my brain I will explode.

The songs on the LP range in topic from North Atlantic marine life to Kathleen Hanna but they all take inspiration from the catchiness, directness and simple three chord style of artists like the Ramones, Daniel Johnston, Le Tigre and Kimya Dawson.

Describe the Connecticut by way of Oxford formations of the group.

I moved to Oxford 11 years ago for the only reason there is to do anything. I needed a band. The LP was recorded with Rainbows 2 and 7. Currently playing with Rainbows 7 and 8. Ian (7) is from Slough (like the Office) and Zahra (8) is our official Oxford representative.

What sorts of fuzzy-wuzzy sentiments & the like informed the fun single “Fuzzy” & the accompanying visuals?

LOVE! Glitter! Fairy lights! A bedazzled straight jacket! A mirror ball made of sugar coated razors! You have to eat it but it’s gonna hurt!

As for the videos for this LP, they are all inspired by classic sitcoms and set in a home for orphan odd sock sock puppets. The Fuzzy episode is about a girl named Parisa and her love of punk music and puppet world Rainbow Reservoir.

Spoiler alert! In the next episode the odd socks take a trip to London and learn about the class system and how some people benefit from it and others don’t. God save the Queen!

How do you all in Rainbow Reservoir construct songs, is it through jam sessions, song sketching, dream boards, vision boards, etc?

I write the songs. (Like Barry yeah.) Alone. And exactly how you would imagine it.

Ian wrote “Rainbows Don’t End”. Best song about rainbows ever. Sorry Kermit.

Current artists & activists that are exciting you all?

I admire the chutzpah of people such as Roxane Gay, Bell Hooks, Jessica Valenti, Adrian Jackson, Jaclyn Friedman and Suzanne Moore.
I saw the Julie Ruin last year and it was one of my all time favourite gigs. It inspired the title track of our LP. Other recent gigs that I’ve really enjoyed include Peach Kelli Pop, Peaness, Personal Best and the Flaming Lips.

What do you feel were some of 2017’s most overlooked releases?

I don’t feel qualified to answer the question. I overlook many, sometimes rather important things.

What are you all the most excited about for 2018?

Us on a bus. Also impeachment.

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