LISTEN: Rainbow Chan – ‘Haircut’

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Sydney artist Rainbow Chan‘s debut EP, Long Vacation, has arrived. It’s named after a 1996 Japanese soap that the Chan family watched together after moving from Hong Kong to Australia. Unable to understand the Japanese dialogue, and too young at six to read the Chinese subtitles, it was the the show’s soundtrack that resonated with Chan. In fact, she’s got a thing for all kinds of oriental populism; J Pop, old anime theme songs, Chinese folk music – these influences crop up in one way or another in her music.

Chan recorded Long Vacation in her bedroom closet. Whether that was for acoustics or out of necessity I wouldn’t have a clue, but a girl called Rainbow (yes, that’s her real name) playing harp and sequencing beats in her wardrobe is a fitting image to accompany the skewed pop that she’s created. Made using tape loops, vintage toys (a circuit-bent toy cow is a recent acquisition Chan’s cited), keyboards, music boxes and glockenspiels, Long Vacation matches Chan’s experimental streak with playful organic sounds and a great sense of melody.

‘Haircut’ is the second single from the EP. According to Chan, it’s “a tongue-in-cheek song about that old cliche, the post break-up haircut”. The point is pretty much summed up with the line ‘I don’t need you anymore, honey – I got a haircut today’. Featuring a detuned harp, programmed beats, what sounds like a kid’s keyboard and a bunch of sample-based sequences along the way, the song is basically a showcase of everything that’s good about Rainbow Chan. She can sing, too, and her voice is on full display in the gorgeous, multi-tracked chorus.


Chan is already working on a follow-up album, and she’s got plans to start a noise pop band with her sister. A tour taking in capital cities around Australia and New Zealand has been scheduled for August.

Be sure to catch her on these dates:

Thursday 8th August – Lambda, Brisbane QLD

Saturday 10th August – Ghost Ships, Adelaide VIC

Friday 16th August – Civic Underground, Sydney NSW with Moon Holiday & Black Vanilla

Thursday 22nd August – Boney, Melbourne VIC with Sui Zhen

Saturday 24th August – The Front, Canberra ACT

Friday 30th August – Cassette Nine, Auckland NZ

Saturday 31st August – Mighty Mighty, Wellington NZ


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