Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | Photo by Eric Schuman for XPN

Joining us for this Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is a band that visited our studio last year for a performance on World Cafe. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (or Rolling Blackouts C.F., if you’re pressed for time) have kept plenty busy over the past year, prepping their full-length debut album, Hope Downs (Sub Pop). Led by the triple-guitarist/songwriting team of Fran Keany, Tom Russo and Joe White, RBCF also features bassist Joe Russo (Tom’s brother) and drummer Marcel Tussie. After two very warmly received EPs in as many years, the band is sharpened by a nonstop regimen recording and touring. Rolling Blackouts C.F. stopped by our studio about a month before the album’s release (which happens to be today!) to perform a trio of new songs that show off each singer’s unique style.


Starting the session is the same song that begins the album, “An Air Conditioned Man.” Led by Fran with an additional spoken word piece by Tom, the song is a gleeful headrush for its first three-quarters. The last section is a delicate coda that showcases Joe Russo’s nimble bass playing. Next is “Talking Straight,” with Joe White taking over lead vocal duties. His delivery has a ‘how did I find myself here’ kind of wonder, and it perfectly complements the floating arrangement and harmonies. Closing the session is “Mainland,” which also served as the album’s first single. With Tom now in the spotlight, the song offers serious pondering over attitudes towards immigrants and refugees, both in the band’s native Australia and beyond.

Listen to Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Indie Rock Hit Parade session below, see some photos from the studio, and check out their upcoming US tour (including a return to Johnny Brenda’s on September 14th):

SAT, Aug 25 Soda Bar, San Diego, CA
MON, Aug 27 Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA
TUE, Aug 28 Independent, San Francisco, CA
THU, Aug 30 Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
FRI, Aug 31 – Sep 2 Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA
MON, Sep 3 Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT
WED, Sep 5 Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
FRI, Sep 7 Turf Club, St. Paul, MN
SAT, Sep 8 Lincoln Hall (IL), Chicago, IL
MON, Sep 10 El Club, Detroit, MI
TUE, Sep 11 Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, Canada
WED, Sep 12 Le Ministere, Montreal, Canada
THU, Sep 13 Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
FRI, Sep 14 Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA
SAT, Sep 15 Bowery Ballroom, New York City, NY
MON, Sep 17 Black Cat, Washington, DC

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