Rainbow Kitten Surprise is Back… And They’re Not Kitten Around 

Mia Tocas, Head Writer

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Considering their name, it’s hard to believe that Rainbow Kitten Surprise is not a joke, they seriously produce fantastic music. RKS is a quirky quintet originating from Boone, North Carolina. The band began with two members in a dorm room at Appalachian State University. From there, the duo recruited three more members: a guitarist, drummer, and bass player. Thus, the dream-team was born. This distinctive indie band offers a refreshing modern twist on indie pop while still acknowledging their roots through an Americana twang. In short, this is the type of band that Birkenstock wearers and kombucha drinkers travel miles to see at festivals. 

On April 6th, 2018, Rainbow Kitten Surprise released their third album, How to: Friend, Love, Freefall. Compared to their previous albums, it’s obvious that RKS really let loose while recording this one.  

The album opens with a bittersweet 23-second intro before the first track “Mission to Mars” takes over. Between the intro and the first track, listeners are instantly hooked onto the mood of the album. Once again, lead singer, Sam Melo lives up to his name. With calming harmonies and lyrics so poetic, he’ll give anybody chills. With the lyric, “Heard it booming at parties, whispered in homes, the pundits on the radio won’t leave it alone. I heard it once, heard it twice, heard it well enough to tell. They say the Mission to Mars, is destined to fail now,” fans are left craving more.  

“It’s called: Freefall,” the fourth song in the track-listing, is arguably the most notable song in the entire album. It explains how stressful it can be to hold everything back. RKS’s advice? Just take a breath kid, let it all go; in a nutshell: freefall. This tune perfectly combines foot-tapping rhythms and celestial harmonies that result in exactly what the band was going for: a song that quenches the thirst for energy and freedom. Melo adds the dash of angst we’ve all been waiting for as he sings the chorus, “Scratch, kick, let gravity win like f*ck this, let gravity win like, you could leave it all behind, even the devil needs time alone sometimes.”  

“Hide” is another heartfelt and powerful song, filled with unexpected bursts of guitar riffs and syncopated drum accompaniment. The accented off-beats and brutally honest lyrics in this recording drive the song back to the 90’s grunge days. This track is an ode to the heartbroken; it talks about the dangers of wearing your heart on your sleeve. “You don’t call, you don’t write you know I’ve been up for forty days and forty nights and all my fears have multiplied.” While most of us are searching for our happy ever after, Melo is one step ahead by explaining how easy it is to be misled and let down. RKS brings the song to a close by fading out the repeating lyrics, “Better hide your love, hide your love, don’t let it slip away…”  

I think it’s safe to say the final track on the song, “Polite Company” is not exactly what RKS fans were anticipating. This song begins with a quirky piano splurge that sounds like something you’d hear at a retro burger joint in New Orleans. But don’t be fooled dear listeners: this is just the intro. As the tune progresses, Rainbow Kitten Surprise uses distortion to blend vocals which introduces a taste of somberness. The final verse of Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s third album leaves fans in awe.  “She’s the edge between the cadence of my name and on these walls another language we would never speak in polite company.” Once again, RKS one-ups all other Indie/Americana bands’ aesthetic.  

How to: Love, Friend, Freefall is the epitome of satisfaction for fans seeing as their last album was released back in 2015. From psychedelic lyrics to life lessons learned, Rainbow Kitten Surprise produced yet another amazing album filled with their signature rich harmonies. The band proved that the third time really is a charm. Both the songwriting and the production quality skyrocketed in this album. As time passes, How to: Love, Friend, Freefall reveals itself to be their best foot forward yet.