The less said about Irish winters, the better. After what has felt like an eternity of cloudy, rainy and severe weather, we need all the shimmering, sun-drenched spring soundtracks that we can get our hands on. Enter Angus & Julia Stone, an Australian brother and sister duo, mercifully armed with a debut album that could immediately destroy the most trenchant case of winter blues.
Incredibly, it’s been little more than a year since Angus & Julia Stone came to prominence, for their song writing mastery promptly belies their youth. Despite the sheer robustness of A Book Like This, there is still plenty of lebensraum for quirky, meditative moments. As such, the album is one of two halves, as their touching folksy numbers sit peacefully alongside piano pop gems like ‘Another Day’. ‘Wasted’ channels the wide-eyed likes of Joanna Newsom; on the flipside, a hearty dose of California beach-pop courses through tracks like ‘The Beast’.
Interestingly, A Book Like This the type of album that doesn’t suffer from its lack of ground-breaking, inventive heroism. Quite the opposite, in fact. The album isn’t an innovation by any means, but its uplifting folk-pop sounds Alpine fresh; somehow familiar and idiosyncratic at the same time. Its overall effect is peculiar, yet in the same way that Kings Of Convenience and Kimya Dawson can, Angus & Julia Stone can bring a smile to the faces of the most jaded of folk and indie fans.
A quick glance through the liner notes reveals that Travis’ Fran Healy helmed the production desk for the first half of this album; this proves to be the only mild shock in what is, for the most part, a wholly comfortable and reassuring listening experience.