Rainbow Arabia 


I’ve always been charmed by musical couples, probably since I watched The Captain and Tennille sing with Kermit on “The Muppet Show.” A couple’s personal/musical dynamic can get weird, often in a good way—think Fleetwood Mac or The White Stripes. And so it is with Los Angeles-based husband and wife duo Rainbow Arabia.

The group’s latest EP, Kubikimono, is reminiscent of a kid with a new toy. Unconstrained by rules or procedure, songs like “Haunted Hall” and “I Know I See I Love I Go,” benefit from the nifty mixture of Afrobeat and Middle Eastern modalities—nothing new these days but still fresh sounding. Tiffany Preston’s vocalizations sound like either trippy-ass whale calls or childlike musings in an outsized, reverberating closet.

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“Harlem Sunrise” is a radio-ready tune chock-full of steel drums and svelte guitar licks that invoke island life without making you barf up your daiquiri. (I’m looking at you Kenny Chesney).

Most of the tracks drift about, and no amount of seemingly haphazard noise is able to create a sustained emotional impression. Perhaps down the road a nasty coke habit or a run-in with a singing frog will propel this duo to greatness.

Rainbow Arabia plays the Palace Friday, Sept. 24, at 9 PM for the KBGA Birthday Bash. $7/$5 advance at UM’s KBGA office.

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