Rainbow Kitten Surprise announces 22-track “Rumors” style return album

Alison Kaiser


Staff Writer


It’s midnight on March 8th and I’m not awake on purpose, but I happen to be in the right place at the right time. I’m scrolling through Instagram when I see a new post from Rainbow Kitten Surprise. 

If you know anything about the band, you know they took a nearly year-long hiatus after dropping out of two major tours. Now a band member short after the departure of bassist Charlie Holt due to vaguely explained issues with singer Ela Melo.

 The band dropped two singles, “LOL” and “Superstar”, and announced a 22-track record to be released May 10th. The album, “Love Hate Music Box”, is the last release Holt will be featured on and teases a modern equivalent of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors”. A power struggle, two people losing their love, a band falling apart, a commitment to the music, and an album that captures it all. 

Comments on the band’s latest post are latent with complaints about Melo’s use of autotune on ‘LOL’. Fans are worried the band’s integrity is in jeopardy, that they are yet another victim of selling out at the hands of the Tiktok pop machine.

Personally, I think it’s genius. 

The song is a commentary on trying to make things work with someone you love, who you can feel slipping away and losing yourself in the process. It’s an honest confession, “I want you but hon/ we’ve been through enough”. Layered harmonies sing “Tryna find my soul / I can’t tell you if I’m close”. The filtering of the vocals feels like a metaphor for trying to fit into a life you’ve outgrown. To push through the strain. 

“Superstar” pays homage to the 1971 Carpenters song of the same name. While it is completely different musically, the question asked in the chorus remains the same: “Remember… you told me you loved me, baby?” The track brings us through the breakdown of a relationship and introduces us to the changed person on the other side of it. It’s the age-old dynamic of trying to ‘win’ the breakup, masking the hurt with newfound independence. 

You can feel the confidence as Ela belts “I’m your superstar / I’m your superstar / I can’t be nothing less”. This is followed by the sobering realization, the controlled refrain, “I can’t be nothing less/ I can’t be nothing”. I can’t make myself small for you, I don’t know who I am without you. It’s the briefest moment of empowerment, before the other shoe drops. It’s getting dressed up to go out where you know you’ll see your ex and crying all the way home.

 In the last chorus, the facade falls away- Ela sings calmly over a steady acoustic strum, “I was always second best/ I would always second guess”. The drum-heavy backing track kicks in, the electric guitar returns, and a desperate voice tries to make you understand why it all had to end “In my mind / in my head / I was losing you / I was losing it/”. 

Hear me out, I’m not saying the tracks are revolutionary. It’s a far cry from the harmonious indie folk songs like “Cocaine Jesus” and “It’s Called: Free Fall” that made them famous, but if there’s one thing they’ve never been afraid of it’s pushing boundaries.

It’s true that the band won’t be the same, but that’s not the point of being an artist. If you release your idea of what Rainbow Kitten Surprise is ‘supposed’ to be, “Superstar” and “LOL” are a fresh and objectively fun translation of pain. Melo is standing in front of us, the mouthpiece for the band after a year of death and rebirth, saying I know it’s not what you expect but it was the only way we could keep going. As a long-time fan who knows what they’re capable of, I’m choosing to trust the vision and I hope you will too. And don’t we all want that? The chance to be raw and unpolished, for someone to wait for us as we reinvent ourselves.