Angus and Julia Stone get personal on Snow


A supplied image obtained Monday, September 11, 2017 of Australian folk and indie pop group siblings Angus and Julia Stone. Angus and Julia Stone will release their fourth studio album, Snow, on September 15. (AAP/Jennifer Stenglein)

Angus Stone fell asleep on a beach on the day of his grandfather's funeral, after a big night out.

It's almost a 'rock-star-gone-wild' tale except for the phone calls that roused him from his sister Julia.

After a race through the streets of his home suburb of Newport on Sydney's Northern Beaches, he arrived at the church on time to sing alongside his sister and honour the man who helped them find their voices.

"He would sit at the piano - there was always a piano wherever we spent time with him - and he would play whatever came into his head," Julia told AAP.

"So he was kind of, without knowing it, a songwriter and probably one of the earliest influences of creativity in our lives."

The relationship she and Angus had with him and her brother's mad dash to the service inspired one of the songs on their new album, Snow.

Cellar Door recounts Angus' journey through a town bearing the landmarks of his childhood to sing for the man who helped him and his sister become one of Australia's most successful sibling bands.

While the pair may have cultivated a laid-back, hippy persona (Angus's recent solo project was titled Dope Lemon), Angus and Julia Stone are a creative force to be reckoned with.

They've released three studio albums together and several more solo records, they've won five ARIA awards and worked with legendary producer Rick Rubin (Adele, Kanye West, Johnny Cash, Metallica).

They took Snow from its most basic form - when it was just a few ideas formulated during a trip to Switzerland - and made their fourth album.

The record is their first since Rubin encouraged them to write together for their self-titled release in 2014.

Made over about six months on Angus' Byron Bay property, it's also their first completely collaborative work.

"We didn't really talk about making a record as such, it wasn't like a sit-down conversation. It was more like, 'Let's make some songs and see what happens'," Julia said.

"I think we've mostly, except for the last record with Rick, had that approach to making records.

"We start making songs and see how it goes and as they form you start to feel like you love the songs and you want to finish them and put them out."

The sound they create together is evolving and the album shows both their synchronicity and willingness to take a chance, even using an old organ bought from a newspaper ad for $150.

"That old organ had samba, waltz and these different beats on it, these cool old sounding beats, so a lot of the songs formed out of those beats," Julia said

"That organ almost became a phantom member of the band, for sure," Angus added.

Together they'll be back on the road later this month for sold out shows around the country before a string of dates across Europe and the US and will return for Falls Festival at the end of the year.

"It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to playing this record. I think it's got a lot more power; it's going to be good at festivals," Angus said.

*Snow is released on Friday

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