Folk-loving folks, your favourite brother-sister act is back! Angus and Julia Stone's self-titled studio album is their third released, followed up from their award-winning album Down the Way. Produced by the legendary Rick Rubin (Lana Del Ray, Weezer, Metallica, Eminem and more), expectations were set at an all time high for this album to be their most influential yet.
A&J have been off working on solo material until Rubin heard their collaborative music at a friend’s party, deciding to get the pair back to together and produce an album.
A record born out of complete spontaneity highlights the true potential of the Stone siblings, taking their sound to a dynamic and illustrious new level.
The album as a whole sounds like an anthem for the lonely souls of the world. There are moments when you are so unthinkably made aware of their professionalism, rather than just their usual "we're-improvising", yet hauntingly folkish tone. Rick’s presence was not made obvious, but those who are familiar with his work may notice hints of his influence concerning the steady tempo from the first track, through to the very end.
The main highlight of the album was the opening track, “A Heartbreak” - making a promise that from this moment forward you will be grooving all the way through the record. A sad groove- but a groove nonetheless. Repetition is always close to their hearts and is no stranger on this album. The only negative is Julia’s over-use of “sing-talking”. This is when instead of singing, she ‘seductively’ talks through the words, yet uses various tones to keep it sounding melodic. While this technique can be at times endearing, over-using it turns the whole feeling ineffective, and almost annoying. Like me, if you're not a huge fan of the hushed spoken lyrics, then you may want to steer clear of the tracks “My Word For It”, and "Heart Beats Slow". With that in mind, this is the one and only negative I can draw from the beautifully cohesive and compelling music they have made.
Everything about this album makes me want to stay home, grab a bottle of red, let my hair down, drop my head, and slow dance into the night. Four years without A&J is like four years without chocolate- a need satiated with more delectable moments to look forward to.
Album released on August 1st.