Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are known purveyors of a good yarn. The band’s previous release, 2016’s Talk Tight, demonstrated their uncanny ability to tell quotidian stories, drawn from real life experiences, that are imbued with intimacy, earnestness and the search for a universal truth.
With their new EP, The French Press, Rolling Blackouts continue this trajectory, telling stories of melancholy, desire, heartbreak, frustration and nostalgic memories of Bacardi Breezers, all through distinctive guitar riff-driven melodies, driving bass lines and poignant lyricism rooted in the Australian experience.
To get a window into the stories behind The French Press, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have shared with Music Feeds a rundown of each track on the EP. Stream the record here below.
Listen: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – The French Press EP
This song started as a riff played against a drum machine. Rhythmically it was originally pretty Kraut-y. It eventually developed a poppier structure, but we still let it wander to where it seemed to want to go. The lyrical theme is around disconnection, people trying and failing to connect across physical and mental barriers. It follows the conversation of two brothers catching up after a long absence on a Skype call – one down and out in European exile, the other sleepwalking through routine in doldrums Australian suburbia. The call cuts out and the guitars do the talking for what goes unsaid. – Tom Russo
In my head, this song is set near Yarrawonga on Lake Mulwala. We used to go there as kids over Easter. In Autumn there is a hazy, honey drip hue that starts in the morning and goes all day. One year we discovered Bacardi Breezers and Fatman Scoop. This song is about that. – Fran Keaney
I read Richard Flanagan’s Narrow Road To The Deep North and was so struck by the destitution of the prisoners. It’s so hard to imagine the level of wanting that would be screaming inside you. The want of your lover or a cool breeze. The “she touched my leg” line is from Dumb and Dumber. – Joe White
The opening line “Cool water fall on burning skin / Evaporate to nothing” was the first line in an old song that Tom wrote, in an old band we played in. I always liked that line so I asked Tom if I could use that line to try to write a new song, using that line as the starting point.
I used to work in an outdoor furniture store at Highpoint on Saturdays and Sundays. An ex-girlfriend broke up with me during summer one year. It started to become very hard to summon the passion for outdoor furniture. – Fran Keaney
This song is about a couple trying to dig themselves out of a (metaphorical) hole in a coastal caravan park. A man gets down on his knees to convince his love that he can change and that they need to stick together through the rough times. It’s kind of like a subtropical ‘Fairytale of New York’ by the Pogues. Also a reference to the classic Simpsons quote – “dig up, stupid!” – Tom Russo
Fountain of Good Fortune
This song is about what happens in fortunate countries such as Australia, where comfort can breed apathy and selfishness among extremely fortunate people, who think, act and vote solely in their own interests, with mild disdain for anyone or anything outside their bubble. And the conservative side of politics don’t have a monopoly on this either. – Tom Russo