ALBUM REVIEW: Angus & Julia Stone – Snow

snow cover

Over the years Angus & Julia Stone have become a very important name in the Australian alternative folk-pop scene. Breaking into both the American and European markets they are one of the biggest exports that are still constantly growing. Their fourth studio album “Snow” sees them continuing their signature alternative folk-pop sound with some of the biggest radio ready hooks they have had since “Big Jet Plane”. Their songwriting has grown and their ear for catchy melodies is very prominent on this release. Opening with the dreamy title track they stick to minimalist production with screechy guitars and smooth harmonies while reminiscing over some memories from a failed relationship. Their vocal delivery on this track follows a call and response method and it worked really well. “Oakwood” and “Cellar Door” shifts towards a more alternative rock sound and hears Angus take lead while Julia harmonises and leads the hooks. Then “Chateau” delivers the most radio ready track with a hook that will have you wanting to sing loud while on top of someone shoulders at a festival. It radiates this euphoric positivity through its honest lyrics and unfiltered vocals. Instantly “Sleep Alone” became my favourite on this release. It had a vulnerability that stemed from their call and response structure. Their vocals were very gentle and melodic. It looks at craving someone’s touch and not wanting them to leave but not wanting to admit it either. “Baudelaire” was another instant favourite with Julia’s dreamy vocal production which is reminiscent of Lana Del Rey. Focusing more on their folk roots “Make It Out Alive” is a track that sees Angus giving spoken word verses which I’m still unsure if I love. While “Who Do You Think You” rekindles the festival vibes with this groovy track which will definitely become a favourite in their live set. However as the album gets half way through the impact starts wearing off. “My House Your House”, “Bloodhound” and “Sylvester Stallone” (which actually has nothing to do with the actor) are forgettable at best and could really be skipped. One thing I was waiting for one this record was an intimate moment of pure raw emotion that would break my heart and mend it back together, but it never came. The closest we got was “Nothing Else” which was a pretty song but didn’t really have any major impact. As a whole this album sees the duo providing a polished pop-folk sound similar to their last record. And while it’s not flawless or ground breaking it does have some impressively strong songs. Their songwriting has improved and this record showcases tighter hooks that will create some cool moments in their live show.