Universally recognized as a sensational funk-soul duo, Lion Babe has effortlessly delivered their first-ever digital album Rainbow Child. A colorful and soulful musical journey, Rainbow Child is accompanied by symbolic artwork and brilliant visuals. “We’re really excited to actually just release the music to the world…it’s been a long time coming,” said singer-songwriter Jillian Hervey. Composed of Hervey and multi-talented producer Lucas Goodman (also known as Astro Raw), Lion Babe aims to uplift listeners on their third studio album, with thought-provoking feel-good music. “Our goal was to open people’s minds to acknowledging and feeling everything, and being okay with that. Whether that’s painful or exciting,” Herveyexpressed.
Rainbow Child follows the duo’s sophomore album Cosmic Wind, released in 2019. The parallels between the two projects are sonically evident. However, Rainbow Child marks a new era for Lion Babe. “I think it’s like an extension of Cosmic Wind,” Goodman expressed, referencing previous records like “Western World,” “Reminisce,” and “No Rules.” From Goodman’s perspective, Rainbow Child is derived from different moods featured on Cosmic Wind. “…We kind of took one of them [moods] and really made it its own album,” he elaborated. Hervey, on the other hand, slightly disagrees, referring to both projects as vastly different. She believes Rainbow Child is rather a timely evolution. “I feel like they’re [the fans] always down for a switch, said Hervey “It’s funny because we have no way of knowing what people expect from us to come next.”
The concept for the album came naturally to Lion Babe during the songwriting process. At the time, they felt as if the world was gloomy and needed a surge of color. They wanted to deliver something bright visually, which was a complete contrast from their typical matte and metallic aesthetic. Conversely, Lion Babe’s latest release remains on brand with their signature retro flair inspired by the 60s and 70s. “We definitely will cultivate a look, theme, and mood board. But we love to be able to manipulate that and talk amongst the team when we’re actually in person,” Hervey explained.
The album’s singles were also brought to life through bold imagery and snappy editing. Hervey captivates audiences as a free-spirited frontwoman in Rainbow Child’s music videos. “The first slew of visuals were actually filmed during COVID. We didn’t even know if we were gonna be able to make it happen,” Hervey explained. Working with a passionate and dedicated team, including a hairstylist (Chuck Amos), makeup artist (Laramie Glen), and creative partner (Jeffrey Williams), Lion Babe showcased a ton of colors, moods, feelings, and looks. “I think Lion Babe and our story [especially] the hair has taken on a life of its own, rightfully so. And that was something that I knew we could also play with [on] this album too.”
Collectively, Lion Babe decided to keep the tracklist minimal, narrowing down the full-length project to just nine songs. “That was definitely intentional. As far as like the smaller projects. Even with our last project, it was quite on the longer side [with] like 15 tracks”, said Goodman. “You can really listen to this [album] beginning to end easily. I think also when we looked at all the records we have, these are the ones [songs] that go together.” Musically, Rainbow Child feels seemingly authentic.“Signs” is a warm-toned duet with Siimbiie Lakew; “Get Up” is a certified dance hit featuring Trinidad James, and “Frida Kahlo” is simply a record that exemplifies self-love. Moreover, it’s a tribute to the late Mexican artist notably known for her self-portraits.
Lion Babe’s personal favorite records are “Radiant Child” and “Thank you, Thank You”. Hervey describes “Radiant Child” as one of the most profound songs she’s ever written. “In my eyes it really — I don’t know, it affects me in a way that songs that we’ve written have never affected me,” she expressed. “I think it just has a lot to do with the root of what this album represents, and why child kind of made its way into the title…We are all still children walking the earth. No matter what stage of life you’re in,” Hervey declared.
Respectively, Goodman resonates with the closing track “Thank you, Thank You,” It’s a record that was written and recorded several years ago but remained in the duo’s collection of unreleased music. Sampling Jackson 5’s “Maybe Tomorrow.” “Thank you, Thank You” is less than two minutes long but the nostalgic feel serves as the perfect outro to Rainbow Child. “…We’re like, how will we ever put this out? How will we ever clear this? But as time has gone by, we were able to replay the sample we were able to get cleared by Barry Gordy and all the other writers”, Goodman explained. “It feels really awesome to finally pass it on and let it fly.”