What does Rainbow Sahana sound like?
Funky Punjabi synthwave with a lo-fi edge.
The review of Rainbow Sahana – Astéroïde B-612
The last thing I expected to hear coming out of France was Rainbow Sahana and their sound. Merging together French synthwave and pop sensibilities with Punjabi vocals, synth sitars and beats – there’s little out there that scratches this admittedly very niche itch. It was a sound I didn’t know I was missing.
Each track from Astéroïde B-612 has a different take on that mash-up and Rainbow Sahana doesn’t stay in its lane. For instance “Ça pique” is a bombastic beat filled anthem with rousing vocals, thick beats and plenty of frequency shifting sitar synths determined to drag you into a 1970s psychedelic trance. Immediately following that is the delicate alt-pop/jazz hybrid “C’est arrivé” that provides traditional Punjabi vocal stylings in French as pianos and drums slowly pick up pace and drama. Indeed, the track itself has a slightly sinister feel by the end. “Des nous partout” instead feels like it could be off the Eurovision or a Freezepop album. Bouncy synths, whistle tunes and a mini bop full of quirks.
The title track takes on a chill-out hazy swim vibe. The drums have innate rhythm as birds sing, insects chirp and the vocals usher in a brushed beauty between moments of angelic happiness. “Manjula” and “Sol, Sol, Sol” then take on the maximalist approach of 80s pop production. The drum machines are brash and in your face and so are the synths. There’s plenty going on in just one tour around this asteroid and very little of it was something I had planned for.
Whilst part of the charm of Rainbow Sahana’s work comes down to the unique and unusual mash-up of French-Punjab synthwave, there is definitely something else that makes you smile here. The 80s infused poppier tracks didn’t quite hit the same heights as the other tracks for me personally. However, when Rainbow Sahana let their hair down and go to the dancefloor, they totally bring me along for the ride. Niche, but a lovely niche to have.
Recommended track to try: Ça pique
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