Quarantine absolutely fucking sucks on every level, but it’s led to at least a few cool little cultural artifacts that we probably couldn’t have gotten any other way. It’s given us things like two great young Australian indie rock entities coming together to cover a song that most of us outside Australia have never even heard, in the middle of an empty cricket stadium.
During quarantine, the Australian state of Victoria has put together a six-part series called State Of Music, which has featured a bunch of unique performances from Australian musicians. Those six episodes have had performances from people like DMA’s, Alex Lahey, the Temper Trap, Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale, and Frente! (Remember Frente!? You probably have to be pretty old to remember Frente!, but Frente!’s New Order cover was tight.) The final episode of that series featured Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, who just released the impressive sophomore album Sideways To New Italy, performing with the singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly, who released the great debut Beware Of The Dogs last year. On the show, they performed together inside the empty Melbourne Cricket Ground, and it ruled.
RBCF and Donnelly got together to cover “Deeper Water,” a breezy, sparkly 1999 alt-rock jam from the Melbourne band Deadstar. Deadstar, which included Plums frontwoman Caroline Kennedy and Crowded House drummer Peter Jones, broke up in 2001, and even in Australia, “Deeper Water” was only a minor hit. So it’s new to most of us. But it’s a cool song, one that fits RBCF’s jangly and propulsive style and Donnelly’s bright, conversational vocal style. Donnelly and the band look extremely cool playing this in a dark, empty stadium; Donnelly, in particular, seems to be having the time of her life. The performance is about as well-lit and well-shot as these things can possibly be. It’s just great. Watch that performance and the original Deadstar video below.
Sideways To New Italy is out now on Sub Pop, and Beware Of The Dogs is out now on Secretly Canadian. Read our feature on Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever here.