Posts Tagged ‘Fran Keaney’

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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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Then on the heels of two stellar EPs, Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever first appeared on our radar at SXSW 2017. The marvelous quintet piled on guitars unapologetically in each of their breezy pop songs with life on the world’s roads and skies laid ahead for them. Their excellent 2018 debut LP, Hope Downs, solidified their status as a touring powerhouse, but the grind eventually made the band turn inward when writing “Sideways to New Italy”. “We saw a lot of the world, which was such a privilege, but it was kind of like looking through the window at other people’s lives, and then also reflecting on our own,” says singer/guitarist Fran Keaney. “She’s There” opens almost unconsciously with a nasty guitar hook that threads into a song about longing and pondering someone’s absence who might be thousands of miles away. “Falling Thunder” is a more traditional pop groove that’s still heavily stacked with guitars and asks “Is it any wonder? We’re on the outside / Falling like thunder, from the sky.” And while RBCF is shifting to make sense of their place in the world, they’re still very much committed to doing so while absolutely shredding.

Just two years ago, This Australian indie pop band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever rose to international prominence with the release of their critically acclaimed debut LP ‘Hope Downs’ which found an eager audience around the world. Showing absolutely no signs of second album fatigue, they make their welcome return with the newly released ‘Sideways To New Italy’.

Inspired by the New South Wales village of the same name where drummer Marcel Tussie grew up and spent his formative years; nostalgia plays a major part in this wonderfully wistful record which channels the melancholy and turns it into a dynamic explosion over ten tracks.

It also reflects on how immigration is increasingly becoming a contentious issue thanks to the dangerous rhetoric of popularist politicians, which contrasts sharply with the bands views who see the benefit of blending cultures as proven by the Venetians who came to New South Wales in the 1800’s and brought their rich history to their new home.

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On their second full length record, “Sideways to New Italy”, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have turned their gaze inward, to their individual pasts and the places that inform them. From a town in regional Australia that serves as a living relic to how immigrants brought a sense of home to an alien place, to the familiar Mediterranean statues that dot the front lawns of the Melbourne suburbs where the band members live, the inspiration for the record came from the attempts people make at crafting utopia in their backyard (while knowing there is no such thing as a clean slate). In searching for something to hold onto in the turbulence, the guitar-pop five-piece has channelled their own sense of dislocation into an album that serves as a totem of home to take with them to stages all over the world.

“These are the expressions of people trying to find home somewhere alien, trying to create utopia in a turbulent and imperfect world.” These guys continue to grow as songwriters- there are a ton of catchy melodies across this album, and not a weak track. I can’t wait to see them perform these songs live! . The tightest 3-guitar band I have ever seen, full stop. The dual-lead guitar crescendo in Cars in Space is pure bliss, something Verlaine and Lloyd would have been proud of.

Released June 5th, 2020

2020 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever under license to Sub Pop Records

‘Sideways To New Italy’ is now available on Limited Edition Sky Blue Coloured Vinyl, Standard Vinyl and a Bundle containing both records.

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Melbourne-based band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever will release their highly-anticipated second album, “Sideways to New Italy”, this Friday,  June 5th via Sub Pop Records. Today, they release the album’s fourth single, “Cameo,” which follows previous tracks “Falling Thunder,” “She’s There,” and “Cars in Space.”

“Cameo” begins with open guitar strums and Fran Keaney’s sweet, assured voice. Then, it thrums with plucking bass, crisp percussion, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.’s signature ability to create a stirring, anthemic track. Undoubtedly an album high point, “Cameo” shows a band at the peak of their power, both instrumentally and lyrically.

“This is a love song. It’s about reaching through time portals,” says Keaney. “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.”

Sideways to New Italy is available for preorder from Sub Pop. Preorders of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the U.K., and Europe, will receive the limited Loser edition

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are back with another preview of their upcoming album “Sideways To New Italy”, in the form of new track “Falling Thunder”.

Speaking about the new track, the band writes, “This song is about pushing on through the relentless march of time, against the constant cycle of seasons, and the way people change and relationships change. It’s set in that time when autumn is turning into winter and the trees are getting bare.” “Falling Thunder” is a third taster of the group’s forthcoming second album, arriving after previous singles “She’s There” and “Cars In Space”.

Sideways To New Italy will follow on from their 2018 debut Hope Downs, and is named after a village near New South Wales’ Northern Rivers – the area drummer Marcel Tussie is from.

Vocalist and guitarist Fran Keaney says of their forthcoming record, “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.”

“Falling Thunder” is out now. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Sideways To New Italy album is due to arrive via Sub Pop Records on 5th June

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Out this Friday! Brand new limited single from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on Sub Pop Records.

After a landmark 12 months for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, who released their debut album ‘Hope Downs’ to worldwide critical acclaim in June 2018, Sub Pop Records are excited to reveal new music from the Melbourne band in the form of single, ‘In The Capital’. The track features alongside a second A-side single, titled ‘Read My Mind’.
To celebrate the highly-anticipated arrival of new music, the band have announced extensive touring plans for the UK and Europe this summer.
Fran Keaney describes how ‘In The Capital’ came together: “I first had the idea for the melody and some of the lyrics when I was swimming. It’s taken a while to finish the song, to make it feel like the initial feeling. I can’t neatly describe it, but something like connection despite distance. I was thinking about transience and water and death and big cities and fishing towns and moon river.”

To say 2018 was a big year for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is an understatement. ‘Hope Downs’ – which featured singles ‘Mainland’, ‘Talking Straight’, ‘An Air Conditioned Man’, ‘Time In Common’ and ‘Sister’s Jeans’ – was embraced by lovers of their early EPs ‘Talk Tight’ and ‘The French Press’ and new fans alike.

The record quickly became one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, appearing in many sought after Best Of 2018 lists, coming in at #3 on Mojo’s Album of The Year list (and was named Mojo’s Debut Album Of The Year), #2 on Uncut’s Albums Of The Year and many more. The band kicked off 2019 by being shortlisted for the prestigious AMP Award.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever also enjoyed tremendous support from the likes of triple j, Double J, Pitchfork, The Guardian, Paste Magazine, NME, Rolling Stone, BBC 6 Music, Stereogum, DIY and Q.
Meanwhile, the band’s renowned live show led to selling-out their mammoth ‘Hope Downs’ Australian tour, as well as sold-out performances in London, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia and New York City. The huge touring schedule also included shows at the world’s biggest music festivals, from Coachella, The Great Escape, Primavera, and Shaky Knees to Lowlands, Pukkelpop, Green Man and Splendour In The Grass.

After a landmark 12 months for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, who released their debut album Hope Downs to worldwide critical acclaim in June 2018 – Sub Pop Records is excited to reveal new music from the Melbourne band in the form of single, “In the Capital.” The track will also feature on a limited edition 7-inch alongside a B-side titled “Read My Mind.” The vinyl will be released on Friday, April 26th and is available from Sub Pop Records.

Rolling Blackouts C.F.’s Fran Keaney describes how “In the Capital” came together: “I first had the idea for the melody and some of the lyrics when I was swimming. It’s taken a while to finish the song, to make it feel like the initial feeling. I can’t neatly describe it, but something like connection despite distance. I was thinking about transience and water and death and big cities and fishing towns and moon river.”

“In the Capital”‘ (Release Day: April 26th, 2019)

Guitars, so much guitars. So much guitar goodness. At some points it almost feels like I’m listening to guitar riffs of The Mats, REM and Flying Nun laid over each other as Joe Russo (bass) and Marcel Tussie (drums) admirably keep the ship moving forward. But nope, it is Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White who in addition to weaving tasty guitar licks are also sharing the vocal duties as well. This seems appropriate for R.B.C.F., an Australian quintet that hit the ground running a few years ago. They released their excellent first EP Talk Tight on the Sydney-based record label Ivy League, then moved to Sub Pop Records for 2017’s The French Press EP. The former is a bit more relaxed and acoustic, while the latter cranks up the volume and pace. Together, they’re a thrilling introduction to a promising young band.

I loved their two EPs so to say I was hyped for the LP is an understatement. And Hope Downs delivers the goods from beginning to end. It is a dizzying and winding 35 minute trek of indie rock delight. The opener, An Air Conditioned Man brilliantly encapsulates my predicament of my day job, and wondering where my youthful dreams went.

Two tunes later, right after the excellent Talking Straight, was inspired by Tom Russo’s voyage to the island of his grandfather’s birth balanced with the struggles of refugees in Australia. Bellarine is an an absolute gem and that is followed by Cappuccino City, a tune that muses about a meandering day in a cafe. Lest I forget, the punchy closer The Hammer which bring the proceedings to a satisfying conclusion.

I love getting lost in these guys tunes and trying to pick out which direction each riff is headed. And as good as their albums are, they are so much better to see live.

Hope Downs

It’s rare that a band’s debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s “Hope Downs”.

To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their two buzz-building eps from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens’ jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. but don’t mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists

Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice. the hard-hitting debut album is a testament to the band’s tight-knit and hard-working bonafides. prior to forming the band in 2013, singers/guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White had played together in various garage bands, dating back to high school. when Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever . started, with Joe Russo [Tom’s brother] on bass, Marcel Tussie, Joe White’s then-housemate on drums, the chemistry was immediate. after a split ep with You Yangs (another Russo brother’s band), released in the form of a frisbee, they self-released talk tight in 2015, which Sydney-based record label Ivy League gave a wider release the following year. talk tight garnered plaudits from critics, including legendary rock scribe’s.  In 2017, Sub Pop released the French Press ep, bringing the band’s chugging and tuneful non-linear indie rock to the rest of the world as they settled into their sound with remarkable ease.

Hope Downs was largely written over the past year in the band’s Melbourne rehearsal room where their previous releases were also written and recorded. the band’s core trio of songwriters hunkered down and wrote as the chaos of the world outside unavoidably seeped into the songwriting process. “we were feeling like we were in a moment where the sands were shifting and the world was getting a lot weirder. there was a general sense that things were coming apart at the seams and people around us were too,” Russo explains. the album title, taken from the name of a vast open cut mine in the middle of Australia, refers to the feeling of “standing at the edge of the void of the big unknown, and finding something to hold on to.” with the help of engineer/producer Liam Judson and his portable setup, the band recorded Hope Downs live, and co-produced ten guitar pop gems over the course of two weeks in northern New South Wales during the winter of 2017. Hope Downs possesses a robust full-band sound that’s all the more impressive considering the band’s avoidance of traditional recording studios. if you loved Talk Tight and the French Press, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

But you might also be surprised at how the band’s sound has grown. there’s a richness and weight to these songs that was previously only hinted at, from the skyscraping chorus of “Sister’s Jeans” to the thrilling climax of album closer “The Hammer.” Hope Downs is as much about the people that populate the world around us—their stories, perspectives, and hopes in the face of disillusionment—as it is about the state of things at large. it’s a record that focuses on finding the bright spots at a time when cynicism all too often feels like the natural state. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are here to remind us to keep our feet on the ground—and Hope Downs is as delicious a taste of terra firma as you’re going to get from a rock band right now.

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Sub Pop has something special on their hands with Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. Yeah, this is surf rock, but RBCF sounds nothing like American surf rock bands. Each member of the quintet takes a turn on the mic and songs from the released The French Press EP were as great as we had hoped. Singles “Julie’s Place and “French Press,” with thick basslines, vocal harmonies and sticky guitar melodies.

In early 2016, the release of Talk Tight put Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on the map with glowing reviews from Spin, Stereogum, and Pitchfork, praising them as stand-outs even among the fertile landcape of Melbourne music. Chock full of snappy riffs, spritely drumming and quick-witted wordplay, Talk Tight was praised for the precision of their melodies, the streamlined sophistication of their arrangements, and the undercurrent of melancholy that motivates every note.” The band was born from late night jam sessions in singer / guitarist Fran Keaney’s bedroom and honed in the thrumming confines of Melbourne’s live music venues. Sharing tastes and songwriting duties, cousins Joe White and Fran Keaney, are brothers Tom and Joe Russo, and drummer Marcel Tussie started out with softer, melody-focused songs.

The more shows they played, the more those driving rhythms that now trademark their songs emerged. Since then, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have rode that wave from strength to strength. Touring around the country on headline bills and festival slots all the way to Bigsound, the entrenched themselves with their thrilling live shows while prepping their next release. The French Press levels up on everything that made Talk Tight such an immediate draw. Multi-tracked melodies which curl around one another, charging drums and addictive bass lines converge to give each track its driving momentum. Honed through their live shows, this relentless energy carries the record through new chapters in the band’s Australian storybook. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s songs have always had all the page-turning qualities of a good yarn and The French Press is no different. Somewhere between impressionists and fabulists, lyricists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White often start with something rooted in real life – the melancholy of travel on French Press, having a hopeless crush on Julie’s Place – before building them into clever, quick vignettes. The result is lines blurred between fiction and reality – vibrant stories which get closer at a particular truth than either could alone. Blending critical insight and literate love songs, The French Press cements Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever as one of Australia’s smartest working bands.