Aussie five-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have developed a distinctive guitar pop formula manifested within bright and thought-provoking jams that make every season feel like summer.
Friends (and relatives) Fran Keaney (vocals, guitar), Tom Russo (vocals, guitar), Joe White (vocals, lead guitar), Joe Russo (bass) and Marcel Tussie (drums) formed the mellow psych project in Melbourne in 2013, and have since releases two EPs, an album and a double single bursting with ambience and passion.
They released their debut EP Talk Tight in 2016; a stripped-back record which features seven raw tracks. Released via Ivy League Records, it was well received as Pitchfork rated it 8/10, while London In Stereo added “Managing to be varied while also maintaining a cogent, coherent strain throughout, Talk Tight fizzes with the urgency and confidence of a band more than ready to step up to the plate.“
They followed up this breakthrough with The French Press a year later. Changing record labels to Sub Pop, they injected more melodic surfer harmonies that have come to make the best ear worms. With a cleaner sound that still allows for intimacy, this was a clear step up for the quintet despite the short time span they wrote it in. Pitchfork agreed as it was ranked higher than their previous release, and they commented “Like Talk Tight, The French Press is brimming with vim, vigor, and open-road abandon. But what makes it an even more compelling listen is that, this time, we get a clearer glimpse in the rear-view mirror of the stressors they’re trying to escape.“
Last June, their debut full-length album finally arrived in the form of Hope Downs. Named after a mine in Australia, it follows a darker concept regarding emptiness and being lonely. However, the mood certainly doesn’t affect their edge. The heavier melodies and honest lyrics show growth within the three main songwriters, and proves there’s more to the sunny Aussie indie-pop stereotype. Hope Downs was rightfully ranked number 8 in Paste’s 50 Best Albums of 2018, while Clash said it had “charm in abundance” and Rolling Stone called it “a minor marvel: 10 perfectly pitched guitar-pop songs, not a dud among ’em.”
Keeping up the pace, they released a double single In The Capital/Read My Mind in April. The former single is as refined as possible now as it was due to be a part of Hope Downs but the band didn’t feel it was ready. Now, almost a year later, it is a mellow bop that takes over every sense thanks to the chilling vocals, delicate guitar riffs and swirling melodies.
- The Guardian named Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever as Ones To Watch last year and championed them for “breathing excitement back into a too often uninspiring indie scene“. Keaney added to this in a recent interview with Bido Lito!, saying “We don’t have any vocal effects, really; I think we just sound like what a band from 30 years ago would’ve sounded like […] we don’t have to rely on smoke and mirrors to beef things”
Their recent performance at Bonnaroo, Tennessee was praised by the likes of Rolling Stone and Paste, and as The Guardian put it: “As engaging live as on record, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever might be just the band to fall in love with this summer.”introducing / Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever