From the beaches of Newport in Australia, there’s a new type of crooning cool that’s bound to grace the airwaves this season. Yet however fresh the offerings are, Angus and Julia Stone present a variation on a theme, that of an incredibly talented brother-sister musical team that brings its diverse stylistic strengths to the stage, working together to create hauntingly melodic pieces with effective acoustic compositions and minimalistic arrangements. Julia’s style has a distinctly fractured feel, one that draws listeners in and takes them for an enchanting ride; Angus, on the other hand, encourages one and all to kick back and let the waves of his by-the-beach drawl wash over them.
They didn’t initially realise that they were on to such a good thing though. Prior to their first collaboration in 2006, they each performed as solo artists and mainly doing so at open mike nights at beachside bars throughout the Sydney region. Following their first fruitful collaboration (the EP Chocolates and Cigarettes), they were launched on the Australian festival circuit, with performances most notably at The Great Escape Festival in Sydney and Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay, both two key Australian music events in terms of festival tickets sales and annual attendance figures.
A trip to London, a collaboration with UK band Travis, their first Australian national tour – and the rest is history. Subsequent years have seen the duo’s second EP, Heart Full of Wine, wide acclaim for the single “Paper Aeroplane” and the release of their debut album A Book Like This. Apart from other solo concerts and festival appearances where tickets have been hard to come by (including sold-out Scala shows in London), the group has furthermore supported Martha Wainwright, The Magic Numbers, Brett Dennen, Newton Faulkner and David Gray in various venues across Australia, the UK and Europe, and the United States.
So would Angus and Julia Stone be the type of music for you? If you’re into hauntingly beautiful creations that seem so fragile they could break at a touch, yet with an ephemeral delicacy that somehow endures time after time – then it would certainly be worth giving the Stone siblings a listen and permit yourself to be transported into their world for any amount of live or recorded time from the impressive duo.