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Album Review: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways To New Italy

5 June 2020 | 9:30 am | Chris Familton

"A consistently superb collection of songs."

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Since the release of their debut album, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have traversed the globe, playing numerous headline shows and music festivals. Now those experiences and the associated dizzying dislocation have fed into their second record, a consistently superb collection of songs that matches the hit rate of their debut.

All three singer/guitarist songwriters again contribute songs, managing to stamp their own style and personalities without bending or breaking the symbiotic jangly guitar rush and heady pop clamour that defines their sound. You get a sense of homesickness – both geographically and emotionally, a searching for place and context after the last few years of the band.

She’s There and The Only One are love songs, the latter introducing an '80s indie-pop sound reminiscent of Prefab Sprout while the former tumbles forth with irresistible guitar riffs. Cars In Space is both urgent and intricate, like The Smiths at their most nimble. Sunglasses At The Wedding imagines itself as a lost You Am I ballad, while the guitars of Not Tonight swoon and dive before the band hits one of their most divine pop choruses to date.

The heady rush of the band’s sound is still intact but there’s an additional sense of wistful reflection and a wider musical palette on Sideways To New Italy that takes their sound to even greater heights.