Angus And Julia Stone have just released their new, self-titled album (1 August) – a record they had no intention of ever recording. The brother-and-sister duo had decided to go their separate ways as artists after 2010’s Down The Way and weren’t planning to work together again for a while at least… until Rick Rubin intervened. In a guest column, Julia recalls how the legend did more than just produce their third record.
We’re driving up the PCH.
Rick is behind the wheel. He has the music blaring, the sunroof down. Angus is sitting up front and I am lying down across the back seat. The sound system in the car is amazing. Doesn’t matter where your head goes the music rips through you. The bass, the kick. It’s so clear and strong. The song ends. I hear clapping. I look up and see the back of Rick’s head and his hands clapping. The car keeps pace, his hands are off the wheel as he is clapping for the song. He turns his head slightly. The fading light from outside hits his face. Wind moves through his beard and hair. He is full of life. He looks like King Neptune out at sea.
It’s almost dark now.
I can smell the ocean.
Wind rips through the car making it crisp.
Rick has lent me his jacket to stay warm.
There are always moments. Sometimes you have moments where you think, “Yeah, I could see this coming.”
“This makes sense.”
This is one of those moments where it’s all happening in slow motion. I’m watching it happen like I’m outside myself. It’s surreal. I hadn’t seen this one coming at all.
Angus moves his head gently to the start of the next song. We are listening to final mixes and track listing. Get Home comes on. I feel compelled to say something but no one would hear me anyway. It’s so loud. I touch the back of Angus’s arm. He turns around and looks at me. We hold each other’s gaze for a moment, then he smiles warmly – I smile back – we are both saying the same thing.
I wonder if Rick really knows how much this means to us. I think he does now. He didn’t at the start. For him, it was about making music. Music that he liked. For us it was so much more. He saw something in us that we couldn’t see anymore. Our time apart was indefinitely edging toward the indefinite. No plans, no talks, no thoughts about making music together again. We knew if we stayed together at the end of of our last album Down The Way then we would see a side of life that wasn’t for us. The intuitive response to change course before we ran aground. Walking that other road alone. We forgot about this. About each other.
Now, here we are.
I close my eyes.
“Just as long as you go get home, you get home”
For more head to Angusandjuliastone.com.