Angus & Julia Stone
There's an unspoken connection that can only come from sharing a family's history. And on Chocolates and Cigarettes, the debut EP from Newport Australia's Angus and Julia Stone, this unique bond is more than evident.
This brother and sister duo take a lifetime of shared experience and create music that resonates with emotion and honesty. A pure sound that says a lot without trying.
Here on their debut EP, they showcase their considerable talents on six songs filled with sun kissed harmonies, evocative lyrics and performed with a laid back, effortless charm. The shuffling drumbeats and percussion are provided by the ba ckbone of the group Mitch Connelly with Angus and Julia taking care of alternate lead vocals and guitar.
Both Angus and Julia have distinctive vocal styles, perhaps best described by The Sydney Morning Herald's Bernard Zuel, one of the band's biggest champions. "Her voice has a fractured feel like Jollie Holland; his has a smoke-on-the-beach drawl" he noted following a performance by the duo at his home. Triple J radio are also featuring Angus and Julia's debut on high rotation and word is rapidly spreading following a series of acclaimed performances in their home land. These shows prompted critics to note that not only were they "unnaturally good" but "they have done more than warm the room - they have won it hands down".
Angus and Julia's decision to collaborate was taken just four months ago. Prior to that both had performed as solo artists, principally at open mic nights, but with each using the other as a backing partner. Ultimately they came up with the same idea, "why don't we play together? It kind of made a lot of sense". The majority of the songs on Chocolate And Cigarettes were recorded at their home where they played and recorded everything live. In terms of composing the material, they write on their own, then work together on structure and harmonies. It's clearly a process that works.
This homespun ethic extends to their videos and artwork too. Mitch Connelly acts as the band's official photographer and his brother IOSHVA looks after their website and artwork.
The band also directed and shot their own video for Paper Aeroplane.
The season 7 premiere guests featured some cast members we haven't seen much of for a while.
This year's Rotterdam event was definitely one to remember.