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The aching, strummy pop of Rolling Blackouts C.F. grabs hold of your heart

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"The French Press" EP is the latest from Rolling Blackouts C.F.
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ALBUM REVIEW: Rolling Blackouts C.F. – The French Press (Sub Pop Records) 2017

Melbourne, Australia-based Rolling Blackouts C.F. (C.F. is short for “Coastal Fever”), a melodic, indie-pop quintet, are a new band to me and bring to mind sounds I admired and enjoyed over 20 years ago, when bands like Velocity Girl, The Ocean Blue and Poole were charming the pants off folks with their sweet-n-sour lyrics and sugary instrumentation.

With The French Press, released on Seattle’s famous Sub Pop label, the literate and insightful Rolling Blackouts C.F. (think any number of bands on the defunct Sarah Records label) are following up on the critically-acclaimed Talk Tight.

With these six songs (making this recording more of an EP), Tom Russo (guitar/vocals); Joe Russo (bass); Joe White (vocals/keyboards/guitar); Fran Keaney (vocals, guitar); and Marcel Tussie (drums), click along on song-after-song.

A nice, rocking outro on “French Press” keeps my interest to the very last note, while “Julie’s Place” is classic indie-pop heaven.

These are some lovesick romantics, these Rolling Blackouts. But don’t let that fact turn you off. These sounds are seemingly from another time. A smarter time. It almost seems out of place in “The New Dumb” of 2017.

But there you are. A pleasant surprise. So glad music like this is still being made.

I mean “Dig Up,” with its strummy, acoustic guitar intro and soft drums is almost reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Things We Said Today.” And lyrics like: “I stand by / under marigold light / Seabirds in flight / Salt of the breeze / Crickets for company / Crickets and you.”

It’s too pretty and adorable, gang. I’m a sucker for this stuff.

“Sick Bug” is reminiscent of melancholy, post-punk pop with some ringing guitar lines thrown in for good measure as the line “I want you, I want you, I want you, I want you” is repeated, in all urgency.

The sweet ache of “Colours Run” and “Fountain of Good Fortune” – with it’s melancholy nature and poppy desires of unrequited love and youthful apprehensions – grab you by the heart in a way.

Rolling Blackouts C.F. have something amazing. And The French Press is a great place to get acquainted.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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