The allure of the road: it's what drives most professional musicians to do what they do...at least at first. The opportunity to gaze upon foreign places, mingle with people from all walks of life, and make the kind of personal connections that permeate the soul is unique when coupled with music. It finds ways to seep into the fabric of a song. Those who tune in are always the ultimate benefactor, as is the case with Angus and Julia Stone's latest album Down the Way.
In this chilly segment of The Guest Apartment at Rockwood Music Hall, the Australian band touches on the American inspirations that string through that album. Down the Way is a travel record after all, and though shivering on the streets of New York, the pair of siblings warm up with stories of a few of the places they have been, and the people they have met. Cut between conversation lie performances of songs that echo the same sentiment..."Big Jet Plane", "For You", and "Santa Monica Dream". It's the kind of portrait that might compel you to book your next vacation on the spot...which is OK. That's why we made an app for you to take this one with you (shameless, Baeble app plug...). - David Pitz
Julia Stone. - Where did we meet? - Where did we meet? - I think I met you in a hospital. - Really? - Yeah. You were really little. - Julia fed me some poisonous berries when I was a kid and I started hallucinating and I met her after that. - You met the real me. - The real, yeah. - And before that, it was just a big act. - Mom and dad used to play in a band. Dad still plays in a band. I grew up falling asleep under tables at weddings and parties with Dad's band rambling on and yeah, it was always a part of growing up. There was always music playing in the house. Dad was a band conductor and my high school teacher for music. So yeah, it was a big part of our lives. - We went on a trip actually together in South America and we had a bit of a, we went into an eco-lodge in the jungle and stayed there for a couple of weeks and during that time Angus had already been writing a lot of music and he taught me some songs on the guitar and yeah, and that was when we started, at least for me when I started thinking of Angus as a musician and going, "Okay, I like his music I want to be around him and around his music. " She said, "Hello, Mister, pleased to meet you" I wanna hold her, I wanna kiss her She smelled of daisies, she smelled of daisies She drive me crazy, she drive me crazy Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane Hey hey, hey hey Hey my lover, my lady river But can I take you, take you higher? Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane. Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane Hey hey, hey hey Hey hey, hey hey Gonna hold you, gonna kiss you in my arms Gonna take you away from harm. Gonna hold you, gonna kiss you in my arms Gonna take you away from harm Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane Hey hey, hey hey Hey hey, hey hey Hey hey - Big Jet Plane I wrote a while ago. I was at a festival and I met a girl by the creek and she took me to the places I needed to go and it was all good and I wanted to take her away with me, but I couldn't so I wrote a song about it. Down The Way was, is, it's a collection of songs that we gathered and recorded when we're in different towns like New York. Different cities like New York and Cornwall and Australia. And yeah, it was something, there was no plan or any outline of how we'd go about doing it, it all fell into place and it became a record. And now we're playing the songs and it's cool. - So much of it was written during our time in California and then recorded in our time in New York, so there's lots of lyrics that reference places that we've been in America and places we sort of fell in love and fell in love with people. A specific landscape. So I think yeah, coming back and playing the shows here is really nice because we're seeing these people again and seeing these places and building a life here and it's a place I think we both are really connected to. A friend of mine has just walked behind. - Oh really? - Yeah. - Hello. Oh my gosh. - I'm losing my voice. - Cheers. Have you met my brother? - I'd love to. - Hi, Angus. Nice to meet you. - Whoa. If I talk real slowly, if I try real hard To make my point dear, that you have my heart Here I go, I'll tell you what you already know Here I go, I'll tell you what you already know If you love me with all of your heart If you love me I'll make you a star in my universe You'll never have to go to work You'll spend every day Shining your light my way If I talk real slowly, if I hold your hand If you look real closely my love You might understand, here I go, I'll tell you what you already know Here I go, I'll tell you what you already know If you love me with all that you are If you love me I will make you a star in my universe You'll never have to go to work You'll spend every day Shining your light my way My, my, my way Here I go, I'll tell you what you already know Here I go, I'll tell you what you already know If you love me with all of your heart, my darling If you love me I'll make you a star in my universe You'll never have to go to work You'll spend every day, every shadow Shining your light my way - Yeah, I see playing with Julia more playing with a friend than my sister. We share a love and passion for writing music and playing live and traveling the world and meeting new people, yeah it's a bit of a trip. - Well, Fran, he was really helpful for us in so many ways because we had just moved over to London and we didn't know anybody and we wanted to record a song on the piano and where we were recording at the time there was only keyboards. And anyway he was friends with a guy who brought us over to London so he invited us over to his house to use his piano to record and I think more than anything he's just such a genuinely loving man. He took us in and made us feel like family and straightaway yeah, was like family. And he gave us the feeling of having a home in London. So I think for us at the time there wasn't a lot of the feeling of warmth about London it was really hard, it was such a big change from living in a small community and having the warmth of Australia in summer and surf to the darkness of London. And he really brought a light to the whole experience. Goodbye to my Santa Monica dream, 15 kids in the backyard drinking wine You tell me stories of the sea And the ones we left behind Goodbye to the roses on your street Goodbye to the paintings on the wall Goodbye to the children we'll never meet And the ones we left behind And the ones we left behind I'm somewhere, you're somewhere I'm nowhere, you're nowhere You're somewhere, you're somewhere I could go there but I don't Rob's in the kitchen making pizza Somewhere down in Battery Park And I'm singing songs about the future Wondering where you are And I could call you on the telephone But do I really want to know? You're making love now to the lady down the road No, I don't, I don't want to know I'm somewhere, you're somewhere I'm nowhere, you're nowhere You're somewhere, you're somewhere I could go there but I don't Goodbye to my Santa Monica dream 15 kids in the backyard drinking wine You tell me stories of the sea And the ones we left behind And the ones we left behind - Well, Santa Monica Dream is a song that actually was written down in Battery Park where we were staying last time we were, well, not last time, probably about a year ago when we were staying in Manhattan. And it was about the feeling of letting go of something or somebody and that related to our time in Santa Monica and we've spent a bit of time there and it was a song of letting go. Yeah, the recording of it is very funny because it was done in a home studio and Angus had been out at a party and got home real late, and you can hear the wind because we left the windows open so you got the wind coming up off the Hudson River and it's just so dodgy. It's like we're not engineers by any means but it's one of my favorite tracks. That and Yellow Brick Road just because they are a bit more loose. And plans, plans. Well. - We're going to build a boat. - I'd like to start gardening. Have a garden somewhere. So maybe next year. Find a nice patch of land, dig some holes. - Hey, we're Angus and Julia Stone. - Check out our music on Baeble Music.
Having spent the last two years touring the world in support of their critically acclaimed debut - A Book Like This - Angus and Julia Stone return with their eagerly anticipated sophomore release Down The Way.
On Down The Way they make their debut as producers, and develop their sound without losing the spirit of their debut. There's been a subtle shift in gear, evidence of a growing confidence - the music gravitates from sparse to rich and textured arrangements yet never loses it's etherealness and charm.
Travelling has been an integral part of the Stone's musical story so its not surprising they opted to record in a number of diverse locations around the globe - an old sawmill on the river banks of Fowey, Cornwall, a studio in Brooklyn, a water tank in Coolangatta, their second home - London - and Queens in New York.
Once again the duo share song-writing duties their individual styles juxtaposing yet complimenting the other. Themes of lost love and yearning weave through Down The Way, which opens with the epic and rich tapestry of Hold On.
Elsewhere touches of piano and understated fingerpicking guitar light up the darkness of the sound - For You - and forthcoming single Big Jet Plane sees Angus's rustic tones rolling atop a dreamy string arrangement. Draw Your Swords - a six-minute work out building to an unrestrained crescendo; Devils Tears - gentle piano and sweet acoustic guitars - wrapping up the album.
On Down The Way, Angus and Julia showcase thirteen lovingly crafted songs reflecting a myriad of emotions. Another graceful step on a remarkable musical journey.
Over the course of the last three years the duo have ventured everywhere from the Scottish Highlands to the heart of the USA. This tireless touring has expanded their audience with Myspace plays now exceeding five million. With a worldwide tour kicking off in their native Australia in March the siblings are set to continue to win yet more hearts across the globe in 2010.
The first single from the record, And The Boys, was co-produced by the siblings and Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright) and the album 'Down The Way' is set for worldwide release in March.