Fran Keany, vocalist and guitarist of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, runs us through his favourite albums of 2018.
What have Rolling Blackouts been up to this year? I think we know how this story plays out. The quintet released their debut album Hope Downs, which drew critical acclaim from big dogs such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone. NME, The Guardian and Rough Trade have all named the album in their end-of-year lists. The band also toured extensively throughout the year, playing festivals like Coachella, Primavera Sound and Splendour in the Grass among others. Decent year for the fellas.
Check out Fran’s picks below.
A Beacon School – Cola
Crepes – In Cahoots
This one crept up quickly after their brilliant debut Channel Four. This is another killer set of songs from the soft-steeze-core tunesmiths. The clip to Dark Demons is great too.
Fraser A Gorman – Easy Dazy
Such a great album from FrayGor. This came out in the depths of winter and was a real beacon of light. The chorus of Walking to Oman’s is a good friend convincing you to go for a beer when you thought you were just gonna concentrate on being lonely.
Gabriella Cohen – Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love
I loved Full Closure No Details and its homely and off kilter charm and listened to it on repeat. But I think I like the follow up even more. It’s a bigger expedition, more grandiose in parts and weird in others, happy to go on a tangent. Happy to come along.
Laura Jean – Devotion
I feel like this was an album that everyone was waiting for but didn’t know it yet. The songs tug on a sense of nostalgia (e.g. lead line in Devotion reminds me of a 00s house song), which offers comfort and clarity, but the songs deal with the present, and all the shades that come with that.
Loose Tooth – Keep Up
This second album from Loose Tooth is a juicier bubblegum in a bigger cathedral. I like this even more than Saturn Returns and that’s saying a lot.
Our Girl – Stranger Today
We played with Our Girl in UK and Scandinavia. They are so so good. Their songs are intimate and enormous.
Salad Boys – This is Glue
This album is another ripper from NZs finest Salad Boys. The follow up isn’t as chock-a-block as MetalMania, instead it flies off in all directions. My favourite track is Exaltation which, I think, chronicles legging it home and being hit with this fleeting euphoria for some unclear reason. I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about. That’s what the lead sounds like anyway.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard
Another gem from the Jicks, packed with lyrical and melodic adventure. We met Stephen and the Jicks this year and did not a bad job of keeping a lid on it. The photo says otherwise.
Totally Mild – Her
This album is a blockbuster. I love all the singles, I love all the clips, I love all the artwork. The whole thing hangs together as a perfect, fully realised piece of art. The clip to From One Another is especially great.