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Album Review: Angus & Julia Stone 'Angus & Julia Stone'

It's been five years since we've heard these harmonies and by golly have we missed them. Angus and Julia Stone have been on a hiatus from the duo as they pursued their own solo projects (and quite successfully one might add). But it wasn't until the legend himself Rick Rubin essentially forced the two to get back together, and we all owe him a bunch of flowers and thank you card because what came from this decision is utter bliss. 

The thirteen track, self titled record was released alongside a sixteen tracked deluxe edition and is a combination of old tunes penned and forgotten and new sounds collaborated together by the siblings. This record sees the first time the pair have really collaborated together and the combination of Angus' grass/roots style and Julia's haunting fifties-esque melodies they have been able to smash out some really unique sounds that are quirky, honest, raw and genuinely heart wrenching.

Heart Beats Slow was the first single dropped from the album and sums up beautifully what the album is about. Hearing the previously totally separate voices join each other throughout the entirety of the album is pretty damn cool and something we hadn't heard before. The honesty in their writing is what makes their tracks so beautiful and this one is no different. With a groovy guitar opening the song, and both Angus and Julia singing in the opening line, already they punch their old sound in the face. This is the new A and J. 

This album is a testament to how much the two have grown over the years. Coming from previous albums that have been a collection of half Angus' tracks and half Julia's tunes, to creating a project together is just fantastic to see. You can hear those rootsy guitar vibes that Angus has nailed, and then hear that quirky husk of Julia, but you see them work together and combine two styles into this new sound.

Get Home is the highlight of the record by a long mile. A chilled, yet groovy riff introduces the song, but is followed by some of the most heart wrenchingly honest lyrics, combined with the husky raw voice of Angus himself. This is definitely one of those rare gems that completes an album. Angus has one of those voices that you can feel what he feels without the words, and that's what makes this song. He pleads to his lover to stay with him as Julia harmonies and the hauntingly beautiful style that has made us fall in love with her. It's genuinely one that makes you stop, listen and feel and reminds us why we love music.

There are bits and pieces that are reminiscent of their previous records, but they have created a new sound thanks to Rick Ruben. There's been a big jump from 'Down the Way' to their latest, but they haven't lost that spark that made us fall head over heals that first time. They have just boomed over the years and it's just so neat to be able to watch artists grow both in their writing and their music. Angus and Julia Stone has already topped the ARIA charts and this really will be just the start.

Thank you Rick Rubin, from the bottom of our hearts.

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