Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Sideways to New Italy

A record immediately nostalgic and drenched in a wonderful golden hue.
Released: 5th June 2020
Rating: ★★★★

‘Sideways To New Italy’ couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s fair to say with ‘Hope Downs’, Rolling Blackouts C.F. delivered on the promise and sun-kissed hopes that many had placed on them. ‘Sideways To New Italy’ does what any good second album should do, evolving a band with even bigger hooks and dreamier melodies while still grounded in what brought them to the dance. As a complete record, it’s a giddy sunrise that doesn’t let up from start to finish.

It’s captured ultimately in the word momentum. Tracks fizz and flow at a sizzling pace as pop swoons meet wrappings of classic bands from years gone by. The brass-eruption of ‘Cars In Space’ or the widescreen cinematic build of ‘Cameo’ reaching for the sort of mass euphoria that ‘Hope Downs’ could only wink at, while bold 80s guitar licks swoop ‘The Only One’ into sounding like a beefed-up Orange Juice track. It’s Rolling Blackouts C.F. sharper than ever before, nailing down into exactly what makes them such a moreish band going about building the sort of catalogue that ends up sitting in your head for years and years. ‘Falling Thunder’ bears all the hallmarks of summer in the park bliss; the choppy ‘She’s There’ and runaway ‘The Second Of The First’ effortlessly picking up the prize and running with it.

It all cements Rolling Blackouts C.F. as a reliable soundtrack only just getting started. ‘Sideways To New Italy’ is the delightful next course in their story, a record immediately nostalgic and drenched in a wonderful golden hue.

Jamie Muir

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