Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever continue their addictive guitar pop crusade with album two

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever continue their addictive guitar pop crusade with album two

Photo by Peter Ryle
Words by Andrew Brassington

The new RBCF record is here!

Following on from their 2018 debut album Hope Downs, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever were shoehorned into a big box of pure Australiana.

That record spent time conjuring up feelings of dusty dirt roads and forgotten corner stores, owing a large musical debt to artists like The Go-Betweens and Paul Kelly. On their sophomore effort, Sideways To New Italy, they’ve kept their links to small-town Australia, but searched further to broaden the horizon.

Some of the strongest tracks present have already been released as singles, but new tunes like ‘Cameo’ and ‘Not Tonight’ continue to perfectly play into the melodic Rolling Blackouts C.F. narrative.

This record is full of cute, jangly love songs, not just about romance but about life and what it’s like to be human, understanding yourself. A lot of the songs glide along with an almost Pavement-core level of nonchalance, but it always feels very much in the here and now. Every song blossoms with breezy layers of melancholic acoustic guitar, yet usually maintains a sense of urgency or a subtle pop hook.

The record packs its punches early on by way of strong opener ‘The Second Of The First’. Over three and a half minutes it evolves into a cacophony of intersecting voices and moods, with delicate spoken words and rough guitar parts protruding from every corner of the mix.

The band love to experiment within their sound, with a prison cell harmonica popping up on ‘The Only One’ and ‘The Cool Change’ featuring reverse reverb guitars straight from the My Bloody Valentine handbook. Despite these eclectic touchstones they never stray too far from their guns though.

Deep in the depths of the YouTube comments section for the music video of ‘She’s There’ a fan pointed out most of their music videos involve the members traversing the countryside in old Australian utes. If that’s not the most apt description of what Rolling Blackouts C.F. are about, nothing is.


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