Rainbow Reservoir - Monolith Cocktail

‘Angela Space of Rainbow Reservoir, the coo-coo hearted girl hums as energetically as possible in a surreal world where all seems possible: There’s Cocteau’s cat perched on one of the instruments, trembling to the beat of the rich sound of the orchestra, there’s a Victorian burlesque play on a scene without spectators rehearsing in paradise, a voice echoing all over the clouds of a wide ludicrous sky: Dragon’s flying, exotic plants, a clown, a beast slayer, a crab about to trespass…all in good spirit.’

Ayfer Simms as lyrically adroit as ever, recently perused the latest release, 400 Imperfect Rhymes, by Oxford musician and singer, Angela Space, who strums and liltingly performs under the amorphous Rainbow Reservoir moniker. Ayfer follows up that review with an interview; probing those musical and literature inspirations and references and straying from the usual litany of most often posed questions to a little deeper.

What are your non-musical inspirations?

Planes, love, crowds, love, stories, love, pain, love, desperation, love, trains, love, clouds, love, rainbows, love, smiles, love, fears, love, hate, love, rhymes, love, science, love, books, love, museums, love, snow, love, yellow roses, love, TV, love, poetry, love, art, love, life, love, love, love, love.  Also love.

Do you use your dreams at times to write your lyrics?

Not generally though I did once have a dream that I had a crush on a dentist so I wrote a song called ’27 Teeth’. I felt this weird combination of wanting to hide my cavities and wanting him to invade my space, see my blood and fix me.

Do you have or ever had a recurrent dream that you think about and maybe would like to use in your songs?

No, I wouldn’t want to write or sing a song that was that disturbing.

The first thing that comes to mind when listening to your music is “a bit surrealist and theatrical”. Can you apply this to your own life, are you this kind of a person?

It is very unclear to me what I am like though I am certainly drawn to surrealist artists and writers.  Perhaps that is a part of who I am.  There are people who appreciate the way I look at things and there are people that smile politely and change the subject to the weather.

What’s the quirkiest detail about each of the band members?

There was a moment last month when I thought I knew them but I think I was wrong, so, hard to say.  Oli enjoys playing Christmas tunes all year and Max listens to Slayer…does that count?  We all agree that we do not much care for the word ‘quirky’.
If I were to try to answer your question though, I might say the most notable characteristic about them is that they are both unapologetically unlike anyone else.  In a world full of homogeneous and interchangeable conversations, ideas and opinions I appreciate that they are neither.

The band’s music sounds very rich and almost like an orchestra, and I think all of you have some classical training, could you talk about that?

I made the recording with Oli and Rob Steadman before I met Max and Oli.  They both have a ton of training on their instruments and are fantastic musicians.  I feel really lucky to have been able to work with them.  They have influenced me enormously musically and professionally and I hope I’ll get the opportunity to work with them again.
As far as the sound of the music goes, I like layers of simple things that when they are all together they sound more than they are.  I have always played in bands and orchestras and am a sucker for a good ostinato or contrapuntal line.  Blame Sousa I suppose.

How long have you been together as a band and how did you get together?

We’ve been together since April of this year.  Max and I bonded over my big muff pedal.  Then we made a flyer and Oli answered.  He said he liked rainbows and Kathleen Hanna and that was more than enough for me.  Also his name was Oli which was convenient.

Your music calls for plays and other rich visual related art, would you be interested one day in working with movies, plays, or other kinds of art projects?

Yes all of the above.  I’m particularly interested in modern art and artists and ideas and themes and stories and new ways of representation or expression.  I thought it was super cool to work with Kirini Kopcke on the artwork to 400 Imperfect Rhymes.  I liked seeing how she visually interpreted the music and the end result is just fantastic.

Who would you consider your current “competitors” in the UK or worldwide in your type of sound/genre?

I know I won’t win so I don’t think of this as a competition.  But people have often told me the songs are like the Magnetic Fields or Kimya Dawson.  I like that.  Other people have said it’s like Belle and Sebastian or even the Pixies.  I like that too.

If you were a writer, who would you be?

If a literary ménage a trois between Emily Dickinson, Julio Cortazar and Shel Silverstein produced twins I would be both of them.

Our thanks to Rainbow Reservoir’s Angela Space for taking the time out to speak to us. You can purchase the recently released, and Monolith Cocktail featured, 400 Imperfect Rhymes here.

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