Angus Stone : Broken Brights
Press play on Broken Brights and within minutes you’re transported to another time, another place that seems so very far away from Melbourne… summer. In his debut solo offering, Angus Stone keeps intact the mellow folk of his previous music with sister Julia, but brings something new to the mix.
With the removal of Julia’s wispy, ethereal vocals, Stone channels Bob Dylan in a much more country-and-blues influenced album. With this in mind, it is hard to narrow down a common thread in Stone’s musical blanket – from one track to another, it can take you from the gun-slingin’ twang of a guitar in album highlight The Blue Door to the fuzz of 1970s psychedelic rock in It Was Blue. In fact, It Was Blue pulls an Are You Gonna Be My Girl on us with its distinctly Iggy Pop riff. See if you can pick it. Broken Brights offers still more in the tropical bongo bop Be What You Be. It’s Xavier Rudd charm inviting us to throw off the thongs and dance around like the hippie we all know we are deep down.
Stone appears as a chameleon storyteller throughout Broken Brights, adapting with each theme and musical genre. The album was recorded in studios all over the world, from a countryside cabin in Australia to the Swiss Alps, and Stone has allowed this environmental influence to shine through. His songwriting talent is clear and his delivery equally as impressive. Upon several listens of this album, the layers peel away and an astute listener will start to identify some stunning moments where vocals, lyrics and instrumentals align ever so perfectly.
Stone has really given bang for the buck on this 13-track album, many of the songs over five minutes long – almost unheard of in today’s three-and-a-half minute pop world. It fits with the rambling style of Broken Brights, an extremely listenable album that will find fans in many ages and tastes.
BY JEN WILSON
Best Track: The Blue Door
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: BOB DYLAN, JOHNNY CASH, XAVIER RUDD
In A Word: Summer