ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER – ”  Sideways To New Italy “

Posted: June 23, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s sophomore album Sideways To New Italy around the clock since it’s release earlier this month via Sub Pop Records. We even got to interview them about the record,  The Melbourne, Australia five-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever released a new album, Sideways to New Italy, earlier in the month . Now they have shared a video for the album’s “Cameo.” Nick Mckk directed the video, which starts with the band’s Fran Keaney singing the song under a lone spotlight and in a black turtleneck, before the whole band eventually appears.

“This is a love song. It’s about reaching through time portals,” says Keaney in a press release. “The lyrics were pieced together over about a year like a little puzzle. I found the first pieces in Rushworth, and the last pieces in Darwin.” As for the video, Keaney says that Mckk shares their “vision for the earnest and the absurd,” adding: “This is our first video to feature skivvies, a wall of cardboard boxes, and a human-powered rotating stage.”

Mckk had this to say about the video: “Fran had the idea to separate each body part playing, disembodied like the famous Queen artwork. I think it was Tom who really wanted to dress like Molloy, the cat burglar from The Simpsons. White sneakers, black pants and a turtleneck. I was very for this.

“Because I’m a fool and I don’t know how to work a gimbal (stabilizer), I ended up shooting a lot of the clip on rollerblades, which let me zoom around the spinning stage. Set Designer Grace Goodwin and I created the big bricks that the band could smash through, representing the disintegration of memory and the rebuilding of recollection. I mean, it was that for me, I can’t speak for the band!”

Sideways to New Italy is Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s sophomore album and the follow-up to 2018’s debut album, Hope Downs, also released via Sub Pop. 

Sideways to New Italy also includes “Cars In Space,” a new song the band shared in February via a video for the track co-directed by fellow Aussie musician Julia Jacklin with her regular collaborator Nick Mckk. “Cars In Space” . When the album was announced they shared another new song from it, “She’s There,” via a video for the single. Then they shared the album’s third single, “Falling Thunder,” also via a video for the track. Then the band released a video of them performing early single “Angeline” remotely and separately from their homes (the song is not found on either of their albums, but was released as a single back in 2013). Then they shared one last pre-release single from it, “Cameo,” .

Then the band teamed up with fellow Australian Stella Donnelly to cover “Deeper Water,” a 1999 song by Melbourne’s Deadstar. They did so in an empty cricket stadium as part of the six-part Australian series State of Music, put together by the state of Victoria during the pandemic.

The band features singer/songwriter/guitarists Tom Russo, Joe White, and Fran Keaney, as well as bassist Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie.

The album’s partial namesake, New Italy, is actually a village near New South Wales’ Northern Rivers, which is an area Tussie is from. A press release announcing the album described the town: “A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pit-stop of a place with fewer than 200 residents, it was founded by Venetian immigrants in the late-1800s and now serves as something of a living monument to Italians’ contribution to Australia, with replica Roman statues dotted like souvenirs on the otherwise rural landscape.”

Keaney had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “I wanted to write songs that I could use as some sort of bedrock of hopefulness to stand on, something to be proud of. A lot of the songs on the new record are reaching forward and trying to imagine an idyll of home and love.”

In February 2019 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever shared a new song, “In the Capital”  released it as a 7-inch single via Sub Pop. The B-side, “Read My Mind,” was also shared in April 2019 via a video for the track , Neither song is featured on Sideways to New Italy.


The band celebrated father’s day with yet another clever music video, this time for one of the album’s (many) highlights, “Cameo.” It’s really well shot and does so much with a little, really highlighting the genius of the band even further for us.

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