Released: August 2014
There’s a good chance that most won’t have heard of songwriting duo Angus & Julia Stone, but after this record you will – not least because of some of the high profile talent they’ve attracted.
Produced by Rick Rubin – the man responsible for Aerosmith’s career rebirth, Johnny Cash’s American series of albums, bringing thrash to the masses with Slayer, and taking Slipknot multi-platinum, the shaggy-haired production wizard brings his book of spells to Angus and Julia Stone.
What strikes first and foremost is the interplay between the two protagonists, with plenty of the songs featuring dual vocal lines, while a gently soaring rhythm section rumbles away behind them.
Heart Beats Slow is the prime example of this, and with plenty of atmospheric synths weaving in the background, much like on A Heartbreak, which opens this disc, the scene is perfectly set for the duo’s elegiac lyrics.
It’s an album that slowly unravels itself, and by the time the melancholic Wherever You Are gently pulls on your heartstrings, you wonder how much more they have up their sleeves – but somehow know they still have more.
Angus & Julia Stone is a tad overlong, and some of the songs are a little predictable, but the prime cuts show that they have a lot to offer, and with Rubin’s remarkably restrained production (he let himself go on Metallica’s Death Magnetic), it’s a recipe for success to be sure.