Fantasy Rainbow
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Fantasy Rainbow

Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Alternative Indie

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"Fantasy Rainbow - 'No Hope. Not Ever' [405 TV Premiere]"

Fantasy Rainbow have unveiled a messy video for 'No Hope. Not Ever' (Dir. Gavin Randall) which is one of the best tracks of 2012 so far. Effortlessly brilliant pop.

The video features a toaster being thrown into a bathtub, some girl having her face pushed into a cake, eggs being thrown at some guy, a couple dancing and some other strange things. We have no idea what the story behind the video is, but we love it.

The track is released on March 19th via Tiny Lights Recordings, and you can get it by heading here. - The 405


"Fantasy Rainbow – Teens EP"

Every now and then, in the guise of a record reviewer, you get sent albums and EPs by bands which you know absolutely nothing about. Fantasy Rainbow is one such instance. The band’s EP, and first on Gateshead based Tiny Lights Recordings (it’s also the label’s inaugural release), Teens landed in front of me this week and all I had to go on was the accompanying PR, which mentioned the band (which is essentially a one man project – Oliver Catt) in the same breath as Deerhunter, No Age and Wavves. Not bad company and hinting at a dream pop/lo-fi sound, which isn’t a bad thing.

To the EP itself then. Opener ‘Youth Forever’ starts with a beautifully simple guitar intro, before another is layered on top. A steady drumbeat joins at the same time as the vocals, which are understated and a little forlorn. The drums kick in a bit more around the midpoint and begin to build momentum. The main guitar track stays sharp and to the fore and while the song is fairly upbeat and melodic, lyrically it’s a little darker, referencing a lost youth. “It’s not as if I miss my youth/but I’d give anything for one more day“.

‘Sun Is A Drug’ bursts into the consciousness like sunlight unexpectedly hitting the back of your neck. It’s instantly warm and fills you with a sense of happiness and satisfaction. The bass and drums are skipping along at a tempo that will have you tapping a foot or nodding your head. The melody and rhythm is wonderfully infectious making this the perfect soundtrack to a summer’s day (or to any day in need of some sunlight). The chorus is like a fresh splash of colour as the sound gets fuller and more uplifting. This is a fantastic track and instantly burrows it’s way into your mind and refuses to move, not that you’d want it to.

The high standards are maintained on ‘Cool Ridge’. Beginning with the record feeling like it’s started at the wrong speed, it soon settles into another infectious rhythm. Bass and drums are quickly into their groove, aided by a lovely guitar picking out its notes. The vocals this time have a little distortion on them, giving them a new dimension but when the song hits its chorus it really shines. The guitar switches to bright, rich chords while the vocal cleans up and takes on a warmer feeling. Near the end of the track the bass gets a little time in the limelight, having a bit of a ramble along on its own before the rest of the instrumentation kicks back in. It’s nice to see the structure being played around with a little and further lends credence to the feeling that this record is just a little bit special.

Vying for standout track with ‘Sun Is A Drug’ is the penultimate song on the EP, ‘Looks Like Up’. This has more of a retro feel to it than the other songs. The tempo is steady with a rich rhythm guitar being accompanied by another great lead guitar. The song brings to mind a sound somewhere between M Ward and Roddy Frame. Musically it’s more like the former, with the vocals in particular bringing the ex-Aztec Camera frontman to mind. It’s certainly not a handicap having a sound that slots in between those two artists. Again the music feels upbeat, but tinged with a little sadness perhaps. The guitar is a little melancholic when picking out some of those notes and leaves a bittersweet feeling as it comes to a close.

Final track ‘Soft Coral’ leads with a deep bass thrum and a high hat, before guitar and vocals join the mix. The bass hums away throughout, sitting opposite the lighter, sweeter sound of the high hat. The rhythm guitar sits in there as a tonic to the sharper sound of the lead. The music picks up midway through with the rhythm guitar coming more to the fore and this gives the song a fuller feeling. The vocals are again slightly understated and the EP finishes as it started, on a real high.

Having come to this with no prior knowledge I’ve found it to be thoroughly refreshing and packed full of brilliant moments. You can hear Oliver Catt playing around with the instruments - Muso's Guide


"FANTASY RAINBOW – TEENS"

These lads are amongst many great bands introduced to me by Dolfinz. Every few months I get an email from the Dolfinz lads, announcing that they are on tour with two bands I’ve never heard of before, and every time they prove to be brilliant.

Just before Christmas it was Black Tambourines and Joanna Gruesome, earlier this year it was the awesome Slowcoaches, and now it’s Fantasy Rainbow, who will be playing the Ides of Toad at Henry’s Cellar Bar on Wednesday 18th July with Honeyblood and Dolfinz.

Unlike the garagey stuff Dolfinz usually bring to Edinburgh, this music is a lot more blissful. The band themselves describe it as dream pop, which is more or less there or thereabouts I suppose, but it’s very definitely still a guitar-based kind of dream pop.

I struggled with it initially, I have to confess. There’s a gentleness to the style which is a little outwith the kind of thing I’ve been listening to recently, so it took a few listens to really get into Teens properly. What actually helped as much as anything, apart from the straightforward pop excellence of the first couple of songs in particular, was making the connection which solved that slightly nagging feeling in the back of my head… Luna!

This music has that kind of laid-back, slightly arched-eyebrow feel of Luna, a fine fine band who no-one really seems to know enough about. Two of their albums were re-released on vinyl for Record Store Day 2012, and even I couldn’t get my hands on one, and I’m a bloody fan.

Anyhow, this is a cracking EP. The CD version is sold out, but you can still buy it digitally for feeble price of £2.50. The nods towards American early-nineties indie by emerging bands tend to sit more or less inbetween Black Flag and Dinosaur Jr. at the moment, so it’s nice to see someone exploring slightly less well-travelled territory and creating gorgeously affecting pop music at the same time. - Song By Toad


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The band formed in May 2011 in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Initially conceived as a bedroom recording outfit but now a signed recording artist, Fantasy Rainbow is the brainchild of Oliver Catt who writes, records and performs live with a revolving collective of local musicians.
Initial tracks were recorded with friend and local producer, Jonathan Coddington and released on the Gateshead based Tiny Lights Recordings and over the course of nine months the band released three releases in the shape of the Teens EP, the Healthy Lung, Dirty Lung cassette and the No Hope. Not Ever EP
Airplay support was gained via Amazing Radio and subsequently national airplay from the likes of XFM and BBC 6 Music
In April 2012, the band signed a worldwide recording contract with Heist Or Hit Records and recorded their first 7" vinyl single, O, Weirdo, Manchester produced by former The Answering Machine frontman, Martin Colclough. The single also received airplay on XFM and BBC 6 Music. In June the band commenced recording their debut album in Grammy Award winner Vance Powell's Sputnik Sound Studio in Nashville, Tn, produced by Ed Spear. The album is scheduled for worldwide release on 5th November 2012.
In May 2012, the band showcased at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. In June 2012, the band showcased at Evolution Emerging Festival in Newcastle.
In July 2012, the band announced that they had signed with Nomethod Records of Sweden to release in Scandinavia.
In Oct 2012, the band were both played on BBC Radio 1 and also showcased at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York.