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On An Air Conditioned Man, the opening track on Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s debut full-length Hope Downs, the band easily channel the sunny tones of their native Australia. It’s a strand that runs throughout the record’s 35 minute length, dominating an album that finds the middle ground between the carefree attitude of surf and sand and the psychedelic musical experimentation of the ’60s and ’70s. Yet the depths swirling under the sunkissed tones effortlessly provide some weight, adding a serious level that soundtracks the crashing of heavy waves.
Sitting at the very fringes of the indie scene, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever consolidate various musical styles, from the post-punk of the 1980s to the beautifully imperfect and seemingly nonchalant vocals of ’90s grunge. The swirling guitars do much of the work, albeit for the moments when all is stripped back for its more ominous soundscapes. Lyrically the band tackle themes altogether more urgent than their predominantly relaxed sound. The combination is infectious, in equal parts escapist and poignant.
Watch our friends at Ticketweb play Guess The Song with Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever at The Great Escape Festival:
It’s a sound honed across the band’s previous two EPs, 2016’s Talk Tight and 2017 follow-up The French Press, following the formation of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever in 2013. Unusually, the line-up comprises a trio of rotating vocalists and songwriters, Tom Russo, Fran Keaney, and Joe White, joined by Joe Russo on bass guitar and Marcel Tussie on drums. Together, the Melbourne based quintet are signed to Subpop, home of the likes of fellow soaring retrospective maestros Father John Misty and Beach House, among others. The deal is a culmination of hard graft, having performed together in bands under other guises for the best part of ten years.
Hope Downs is the outcome, yet it only marks the start. Their sunshine indie pop with serious commentary is currently seeing them across the United States, before they return to the UK for a headline run in the UK, including a headline show at London’s KOKO. We may be a long way from the rolling beaches and open waters that have inspired the band’s moniker, yet it feels remarkably close thanks to their transportive sound.
Check out the opening track, and arguable album highlight, An Air Conditioned Man.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever tackle privilege with commentary on immigration on the glorious Mainland.
It’s sunshine galore on the title track from their sophomore EP, French Press.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever arrive in the UK for a headline tour in October 2018, armed with tracks from their debut full length Hope Downs.
21 October 2018 – Stylus, Leeds
24 October 2018 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
25 October 2018 – O2 Academy, Oxford
29 October 2018 – KOKO, London
Find tickets for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever at Ticketmaster.co.uk.