Angus & Julia Stone Albumcover

ANGUS AND JULIA STONE – Angus & Julia Stone

01. A Heartbreak
02. My Word For It
03. Grizzly Bear
04. Heart Beats Slow
05. Wherever You Are
06. Get Home
07. Death Defying Acts
08. Little Whiskey
09. From The Stalls
10. Other Things
11. Please You
12. Main Street
13. Crash And Burn

Actually ANGUS AND JULIA STONE had not planned to make a new album together. In the past years both of them worked on and toured with their recent solo records By the Horns (Julia) and Broken Brights (Angus) and were barely seeing each other. But it just so happened that legendary producer Rick Rubin heard their music at a party and invited the Australian siblings to his Shangri-La Studios in Malibu. After playing a gig together, reuniting suddenly felt right to Angus and Julia and they accepted the offer.

The result is simply called Angus & Julia Stone and is out now. The title is suggestive of a debut album and as the two of them told NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION in an interview, the LP indeed felt like a first record, since it was the first time they have written songs together.

It’s not only the new found togetherness but also an increasing confidence one can hear in the songs. The pulsing opener A Heartbreak is a strong duet starting with the lines I met your parents / They were lying about falling in love – maybe an allusion to their own parents who separated when the siblings were teenagers.

Sometimes there are broken guitars and broken stereos instead of broken hearts but the heart with its magnetism and its repulsing, with its yearning, remains the recurring motive whether it causes a rousing outburst of emotion like in Heart Beats Slow or bleeds out for a far-off lover like in Get Home.

Making themselves at home can be hard for touring musicians so it’s all the more amazing how ANGUS AND JULIA STONE manage to give the listener the feeling of coming home. Can I take you home? they ask in the dreamy Grizzly Bear and it feels like they already did because the song sounds so incredibly familiar.

The instrumentation of the songs is classic – rhythmic drums, sensitive acoustic guitars and steady-going electric guitars – masterfully and varied mixed by Rick Rubin and his team. Every song opens a new door of the Stone-universe – sometimes the two of them go through it together, sometimes they discover the world behind it separately – Julia for instance with the intense ballad Death Defying Act and Angus with Crash and Burn which sounds as if Neil Young in person has played the guitars.

It would have done no harm to leave some of those doors closed and display the beauty behind the remaining even more. But on the other hand, who knows when and if ANGUS AND JULIA STONE decide to open those doors again? So let’s just sit back and enjoy.

‘Angus & Julia Stone’ just feels like coming home.

NBHAP Rating: 4,5/ 5