Music Monday :: my thoughts on Angus & Julia Stone

18 Aug

Their self-titled album that is.  It came out at the beginning of the month, but I’m writing about it now, so there.

“A Heartbreak.”  Mmm.  Yummy guitar.  I’ve missed these guys, and I mean I enjoy their solo stuff (I know Julia’s much better than Angus’) but I also miss their together stuff a lot, so this is wonderful.  They harmonize and it’s rich and delicious.  And a lot of at least Julia’s solo stuff is significantly eerier, which I like, but I also like this.  It’s still got a bit of a dark edge to it, but it’s sort of optimistic totally even if the words aren’t.

“My Word For It.”  “And all the books upon your shelf tell stories of who you are.”  That’s one of those ambiguous-mood lyrics like they have.  It’s not happy it’s not sad it’s just a fact, and I like that just-a-fact thing combined with their lovely musical stylings.

“Grizzly Bear.”  Mmm instruments.  I am the least articulate when I write about music, honestly, but certain kinds of instruments just get to me.  This one is an Angus track, and while I generally prefer Juliavoice because if you give me the choice of boyvoice/girlvoice I almost always pick girlvoice, that’s fun.  This sounds vintage, but not like… 60s/70s vintage, more 80s vintage almost.

“Heart Beats Slow.”  There’s a hint of 60s/70s to this one, though.  The fact that they’re trading off lines of the song sort of helps with that, I think.  It’s the kind of vintage that would go really well in a movie.

“Wherever You Are.”  Oh, that’s a wistful and lovely little tiny riff.  Of course it’s Juliavoice to go with that.  But there’s Angusvoice too, more of that trading.  That’s fun.  I am just the biggest sucker for multi-vocalist stuff.  I think that’s a theme.  This is genuinely sweet, this track.  Genuine sweetness is rare and I like it when it isn’t cloying, so that’s exciting.

“Get Home.”  The thing about Angusvoice, though, is that it makes songs genuinely sound like they are from the olden days of rock and roll.  He’s good at that.  And then Julia’s harmonies in the background making her sound like a ghost.  I mean that with every reverence, as I always do with weird remarks like that.

“Death Defying Acts.”  And now it’s sparse and gloomy and morbid and Julia and hello.  “You compare my light to the sky, why do you try to make me better than the divine,” more importantly “I will perform a death defying miracle for someone with the chemicals to believe, I am brave, but I’ve gravely understated, I can’t save you from what you’ve taken and leave.”  This track is so far the winner.

“Little Whiskey.”  And now more rock and roll with Angus.  And a lot of drum action.  “There’s a ghost in my garden, it’s telling me to go.”  This is pleasant and vintage.

“From The Stalls.”  This is another one that sounds like it could be in an indie romcom.  It just has that vibe to it.  It sounds like road trips.  It’s not even about road trips, but it just sounds like something you’d hear while characters were driving somewhere at sunset.

“Other Things.”  Aw, that’s sort of twee.  And I like it so much when things sound sort of twee but then have lines like “so close the fucking door” that just sneak out of nowhere.

“Please You.”  Indie boyvoice.  Which isn’t a bad thing, just a thing.  It’s not a lead kind of track, but it’s a nice one.  Not one I have much to say about, either, but a nice one.  It fills well.

“Main Street.”  I like I can tell just by the tone of the intro who’s about to start singing.  Primarily Juliavoice.  She goes with the darker stuff very well.  This one has some, like, Chris Isaak-y guitar twang to it, and that’s fun and I like it too.

“Crash And Burn.”  Slightly darker 70s rock and roll; Angusvoice goes with introspectively rock and roll, as opposed to Juliavoice’s melancholia.  But this is really nice.  It’s a nice rocking sort of closer.  And guitar, my goodness.  Quite a lot of very nice guitar action.  Quite a lot of guitar-et-al closing jamming out.

–your fangirl heroine.

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