Angus Stone - 'Broken Brights' (UK Release: 16 July '12) // Words: Raman K
Sydney siblings Angus and Julia Stone have enjoyed critical acclaim since breaking through in 2006. In the space of only two albums in three years, and a glut of ARIA awards, the duo have cemented their status as Australia’s indie-folk darlings. Taking a sidestep for a solo project, Angus Stone presents 'Broken Brights', a more personal and intimate journey into themes of nature, love and the wilderness in between.
The title track, 'Broken Brights', is worthy of the best material released alongside his sister. Solemn country guitar riffs, touches of damp electric guitar and Angus’ sundried voice give this track a standout feeling of elderly Outback wisdom.
'River Love' starts off as a gentle mandolin strum, but builds steadily into a delightful sundance folk jig. Angus’ willingness to break into the pop market is evident in 'Bird On The Buffalo'. It is capped with a terribly clichéd music video starring his supermodel actress girlfriend, Isabel Lucas and some uncomfortable dancing skills.
His vocals are his strongest trait. Bob Dylan-esque, but honeyed on 'Only A Woman'. Much of the time his voice excuses the lack of invention in the acoustic melodies, such as in tracks like 'Wooden Chair' and 'Clouds Above'.
The biggest surprise emerges in 'It Was Blue', a gothic rock song with haunting electric guitar drones echoing Iggy Pop’s 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' and an air of Silversun Pickups. It is a glimpse at an entirely different direction possible for Angus Stone, should he turn his back on forests and beaches.
A standout performer at last month’s Festifeel music festival, Angus Stone has an assured catalogue of solo material to attract new fans. However, somewhat inevitably for followers of Angus’ career, it is easy to feel that only one half of the story is being told in 'Broken Brights'. While Julia Stone also pursues her solo career, we are left eagerly anticipating the next Stone family reunion.
'Broken Brights' is available to purchase at amazon.co.uk. Download the title track above for free. For more info, go to angusstone.com.