Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

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.

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever bring the mainland to Johnny Brenda’s

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | Photo by Jack Madden for WXPN

Melbourne-based five piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever took to Johnny Brenda’s this past Thursday night for their second visit to Philadelphia. The band’s current month-long U.S. tour started with dates at both Coachella weekends, and ultimately lead the band to road trip across 30 states before closing out the U.S. leg in Philly, then flying to Europe for the second leg of the tour. Thankfully, the Aussie five piece still had plenty of energy when they stopped by JB’s to enchant the upstairs crowd.

As the clock stuck 11, the house spun George McCrae’s 1974 pre-disco hit “Rock Your Baby.” The disco ball‘s shimmering red lights cast upon the crowd as McCrae’s crooning faded, giving way for the band to take the stage. The disco ball would continue to paint the room in red, blue and green throughout the night as the band’s jangle pop infused summertime rock tunes dazzled the upstairs crowd.

The Melbourne-based quintet kicked off their set with “Clean Slate” from their 2016 debut EP, Talk Talk. In one sense, the lead track is quintessential Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: a trio of vocalists/guitarists contributing their own flavor to the mix, punchy upbeat punk drums, and a driving yet off-kilter bassline. The effervescent blend of neo-pop and sunny punk-tinged rock got the Thursday night crowd moving instantaneously. Continue reading →


Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s Fran Keaney talks collaborative songwriting, knowing your place in the universe, and Melbourne’s best new music

Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | photo by Warwick Baker | courtesy of the artist

There’s an undeniable momentum to Australia’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, a kind of stampede of movement. Though their songs each have their own distinct feel, they retain a thundering energy, coming at you like a gust of cool wind or a lurching wave. The beauty of it isn’t in a single guitar solo, a specific bassline, or the consistently thumping beat of the drums; it isn’t the clever turn of phrase or the catchy hook. The real mastery is in the full, the whole thing hurtling forward, picking up speed and catching more and more as it rolls down hill.

This holds true for the band itself, a five-piece that started as a three-piece, slowly building and growing without a single ego to get in the way. They share songwriting duties and credits and have, up to this point, released two EPs of jangly, late summer-afternoon guitar rock. Singer-guitarist Fran Keaney, one of the founding members of the band, was kind enough to talk with me about, among other things, the band’s growth, harnessing that specific moment in time, Dumb and Dumber, and their highly-anticipated new record Hope Downs. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tennis at Underground Arts, The Only Ghost in Town at Studio Luloo, Sunn O))) at Union Transfer

Tennis | via the artist's Facebook page
Tennis | via the artist’s Facebook page

Indie pop duo Tennis will headline Underground Arts tonight with Rolling Blackouts and Coastal Fever. Their latest album Yours Conditionally dropped last Friday, featuring the feel-good, throwback single “In The Morning I’ll Be Better.” Check out the similarly vintage video for the track below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more information. Continue reading →