OK, so maybe you can’t go home again. That doesn’t mean you can’t try. Australian indie-rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are apparently eager to give it a shot on their sophomore album Sideways To New Italy (which is named after their drummer’s home town). And based on these earnestly nostalgic lyrics about home and hope and love and time, it seems they succeed in reconnecting with their old selves at least part of the time. Of course, in other respects — chiefly the jangling guitars and sunny vibes that propel these summery singles — it’s as if they never left. Make yourself at home.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “After enough time away from home, even the familiar starts to feel foreign. For guitar-pop five-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, returning to Melbourne after long stretches looking out at the world through the windows of airplanes and tour vans lead to dislocation, like being the knot in the middle of a game of tug-o-war. Their second record, Sideways to New Italy, sees the band interrogate their individual pasts and the places that inform them. In clicking the scattered pieces back into place, they have crafted for themselves a new totem of home to carry with them no matter where they end up. Led by singer-songwriter-guitarists Tom Russo, Joe White and Fran Keaney (and rounded out by bassist Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie), the band began grasping for something reliable after emerging from relentlessly touring their critically regarded debut Hope Downs. “I felt completely rudderless on tour,” Keaney says. “It’s fun but you get to a point where you’re like, Who am I anymore? You feel like you’re everywhere and nowhere at the same time. And no one in particular.” Russo adds, “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.” Rather than dwell in the displacement, Keaney was determined to channel how he was feeling into something optimistic. “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.”