You could be forgiven for thinking that a self-titled album for an artist's third studio release is lacking in creativity. When you take a step back and look at the whole story of Angus and Julia Stone, however, you'll quickly realise there really was no alternative. The incredible duo burst onto the scene in 2006 with their single ‘Paper Aeroplane’, and garnered international attention immediately. Before they knew it they had five ARIAs and were touring around the UK and Europe.
Fast-forward to 2009 and their single 'Big Jet Plane' made the number one spot on the coveted Tripple J Hottest 100 list. By the end of 2010, brother and sister wanted to stretch their legs and explore their own music. Their third studio album, with its first single and video clip ready to go, was shelved and left to collect dust in 2011.You have to remember, the pair never set out to be a recording duo. Julia was singing back up vocals for Angus when they were originally signed.
Both brother and sister had independent success. Angus' first professional, and beautifully unexpected moment came when he was living in LA. Angus, nonchalant, recalls of his collaboration with surfing legend Kelly Stater, "His manager just rang me up and said he really wants to meet you... So I drove over there and had some beers and ended up writing a song'.
When you talk to Angus Stone, it's easy to imagine him chilling out on the beach, or on his farm, far from the circus of the media industry. When he's not making music, Angus goes back to his early days of carpentry, orchestrating jobs with, and for friends to complete construction. You almost get the sense he can't be bothered with the PR side of the music business, and who could blame him? However, you only have to ask him about the music for him to get passionate. "It's everything to us," he says, of what it means to him and his sister.
This self-titled third offering from the brilliant siblings, is a first, in a sense. For their previous releases, the albums would alternate between songs Angus had written, and those written by Julia. Their latest album is completely attributed to music legend, Rick Rubin. Both were well into their solo paths when Rubin called, "We really had to think about what it meant to come back together, to record again". With Rick's team, Angus and Julia, for the first time, wrote songs together. Swapping ideas, going back and forth, this album truly is 'Angus and Julia Stone'.
When I asked about the creative process for the album, Angus simply said "stylistically, it was really unhinged, we didn't t know where it was going to go. It was all based on emotion and how it felt to us". Emotive and unhinged, collectively, is a great way to describe the stones and their approach to life. I asked Angus if he believed in grabbing the unexpected things in life when they came up, and the response I got was lovely. "I'm a huge believer in that the most beautiful things come from the unexpected." This belief ties into how he hopes people discover the music made by Angus and his sister. Whilst he believes social media is having a positive effect on the music industry, he thinks there's potential for over-saturation by an artist. When I used U2s stunt of downloading their album to everyone's iTunes, he said it took away the magic of discovering a new artist. Instead he suggests that when you discover an artist in your own time, having a smoke with mates, or just stumbling across a new song, the impact is far greater, and the music means far more, than simply having it thrust in the faces of the masses.
For those that are discovering Angus and Julia Stone on this new adventure, their experience, definitely, will be magic. Their Australian tour commenced on February 4 in Perth.
Image courtsey of Mad Dog Publicity