Bonnaroo 2019 Artist Spotlight: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever


Bonnaroo Artist | Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Thursday | This Tent | 9:15-10:15pm


As we’ve been doing for the past several years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorites acts from from Bonnaroo‘s impressive 2019 lineup. As we dig through the entire schedule, we’ll highlight a spread of performers spanning across genres and stages (including the campground Plazas), big and small, new and old, to bring you some of the most interesting, lesser-known, or most highly-recommended among this year’s crop of artists. Though we’ll be jumping around, we’re loosely working our way through by day, and we’ll also be bringing you some special features and longer guides along the way, to help you plan your weekend before the fest. While these previews won’t span every performer, and might omit some more obvious must-see acts, we hope they’ll serve as a way to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s gargantuan lineup, and to make the most of your busy weekend on the farm!

Grab your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and keep reading to learn more in our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight


Though poppy, jangly, nostalgic Australian indie rock outfit Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever formally came together in 2013 in Melbourne, the group’s core trio of songwriters and co-frontmen, Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, Joe White, had already been friends for years, performing together in various groups since their high school days, and initially approaching RBCF as something of a songwriting collective. The addition of Tom’s brother Joe Russo on bass and Joe’s housemate Marcel Tussie on drums rounded out their lineup as a full band, and after gaining some early attention playing DIY spaces around their hometown, they self-released their first EP, Talk Tight, in 2015, with a wider release through indie label Ivy League the following year.

By 2017 EP The French Press, the band had inked a deal with Sub Pop, who helped them reach a wider audience, drawing critical acclaim for their early work (and especially the EP’s title track), and praised for their punk-tinged, wistfully poppy, personal though sometimes sarcastic fusion of retro power pop, ’80s and ’90s college rock, and modern indie, channeling acts like The Go-Betweens, old school R.E.M., the more jangly elements of The Smiths, and the laid back and layered modern indie rock of peers like Courtney Barnett. Last year’s full-length debut, Hope Downs, attracted just as much praise, tracked live and expertly capturing the band’s breezy, thoughtful, and rich stylings. While they’re still certainly an act on the rise, Rolling Blackouts have managed to connect with even bigger crowds stateside than in Australia or New Zealand, and though they’re just one of many indie acts on the Bonnaroo bill this year, their unique blend of influences and personal dynamic set them apart in a way that makes them one of the most compelling and cool performers all weekend. They’re a top Thursday pick for us, and certainly a band you need in your life immediately.

 LISTEN | “French Press”

 WATCH | “Talking Straight” (Official Music Video)


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