Angus and Julia Stone- ‘Down the Way’

Posted on March 4, 2010


Aussie sibling duo Angus and Julia Stone’s sophomore release is quite the heartfelt and stirring piece of work. Trading singing duties on successive tracks throughout the 13 strong album allows both brother and sister to showcase the great character they have to their voices. Julia’s vocals are spine tingling with her delicate and almost reticent delivery that harks towards Lisa Hannigan, whose voice has stuck with me since Damien Rice’s ‘O’. There’s a real feeling of sincerity to the songs, as they skip between folk and pop sensibilities, bringing string and horn sections in to fill out and accentuate playful tales of love, loss and life. I was pleasantly surprised by this offering as it’s an album that is strong from start to finish- a rare commodity these days-and it has a balance of sorrowful and uplifting moments that I’ll return to as my mood dictates. The album opening should really catch listeners attention, setting the scene for what’s to come with the orchestral, soaring, Julia sung ‘Hold On’, followed by the Angus led ‘Black Crow’, with its bouncing bass and understated vocals. ‘On The Road’ and ‘I’m Not Yours’ deploy some touching harmonies and show the different approaches taken by each member. It’s fair to say that Julia does the more folk songs and Angus brings a pop/ indie side, more modern in his influences of whom Josh Rouse sticks out. The album works extremely well by melding the two sides of the coin that are brother and sister together, and throughout these approaches mesh to form some wonderful moments.

Posted in: Record Reviews