Angus and Julia Stone kick off ski season with ‘Snow’ at Belly Up Aspen
The Aspen Times
If You Go …
Who: Angus & Julia Stone
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Saturday, Nov. 25, 9 p.m.
How much: $25-$38
Tickets: Belly Up box office; http://www.bellyupaspen.com
“Snow” is in the forecast for Belly Up Aspen on Saturday as the music club brings Australian brother-sister duo Angus and Julia Stone to town for the Thanksgiving weekend kickoff to ski season.
The pair is on the road in support of their new album, “Snow,” released in September.
“Making it in the studio, we were sitting there going, ‘Wow, this is going to be an amazing album to play live,’” Angus Stone said recently from a tour stop in Lyon, France. “It is.”
The Sydney natives have crafted songs of sweet and simple indie-pop on the new record, which is filling their sets on their ongoing world tour. They made it in laid back recording sessions, without a producer, at Angus’ home studio in Byron Bay on Australia’s eastern coast.
“It’s always been really simple for us,” Angus said. “When we started it was just Julia and I hanging out in our dad’s garage playing songs with friends. It was all very straightforward and we knew a few chords on the guitar and we found some sort of storytelling within the way we write.”
They haven’t fallen prey to over-producing their songs, instead relying on light instrumentation and whispery dual vocals on songs like “Snow,” the spoken-word-infused “Make It Out Alive” and the compulsively danceable “Chateau,” which has become the new album’s first hit.
“We keep life simple and let it work itself out,” Angus said of their approach on the project.
Though the pair has been releasing music together for more than a decade, their new record marks the first time the Stone siblings have shared songwriting duties on an entire album and signals a turning point for the band.
The pair nearly split for good five years ago, as the breakout success and touring demands of the band’s triple-platinum 2010 album “Down the Way” took their toll on the Stones’ creativity.
Angus and Julia had mostly gone their separate ways and embarked on solo careers by 2012 when they met the legendary producer Rick Rubin. He reunited them, produced their self-titled 2014 album and lit a creative fire under the pair.
“When we stepped into making that record we know that something needed to change with the way that we write songs and record them,” Angus said. “A big part of that was just us actually writing together for the first time.”
They still have their side projects and solo careers, which the siblings have found are vital outlets that also allow them to do their best work together.
“It’s this sort of freeing up the things that you possibly wouldn’t do with one another,” Angus explained. “Having that there as a release or whatever is really important for us, for a healthy relationship with what we do.”
The duo is looking forward to playing Aspen as the 2017-18 ski season opens. Angus and Julia have come through Colorado frequently over the years and discovered a kinship between ski town audiences and Australian ones.
“The crowds are a lot like Australia — they’re pretty laid back, drinking beers,” he said. “You guys have that same lazy, good-time vibe.”