Review : Julia Stone – By The Horns

I came across this Australian singer purely by chance and I am really glad that I did. Julia Stone who previously performed with her brother Angus and this is now her second solo outing. Hailing from Sydney the album was conceived and recorded around the world, whilst touring with her brother. The production throughout is superb and this gives her voice a good platform to start from.The record starts with the snare drum led ‘Let’s Forget All The Things That We Say‘ a sparse song that allows each word sound crisp and fresh. So when she sings, “..hear my heart calling“, you can really feel it. The perky ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio‘ is full of presence and the woodwind instrumentation sound gives it a really natural feel to it. ‘It’s All Okay‘ does remind me of some long-lost Fleetwood Mac track from the ‘Tusk’ era. In fact her voice is not dissimilar to that of Stevie Nicks, which is good in my books. This song is definitely a real highlight in this set and I just love the piano keeping it on the rails.

The gentle ‘I’m Here, I’m Not Here‘ is next up which soothes your mind with the distant horn sounds as a subtle backing effect. ‘Justine‘ is peppered initially with sparkly keyboards then when the drums kick in the song grows with each second you hear it. Referenced is California, one of the locations she made this collection. The ambience to ‘Break Apart‘ implied to me she’s probably a fan of Pink Floyd’s melodic side. This is carried into ‘With The Light‘ which has her wispy vocals embedded on a cushion of sound.The darker ‘I Want To Live Here‘ shows another side to her that even in the despair of the music she shines like a beacon of light forcing her way out. Quite literally ‘By The Horns‘, the title track brings us back to reality and the innocence of her voice. “..some of us keep it simple“, she states and for her that is what makes this collection work. You want to believe every word she sings on ‘The Line That Ties Me‘, a song you could imagine angels singing. ‘The River‘ see her with her acoustic guitar her instrument of choice and this concludes by stepping up a level in sound and speed as a suitable finale.

As previously stated this album was made whilst travelling around the world. I hope that soon you will hear this all around the world. If this was released in the mid 1970’s she would be a household name and with this record that is a distinct possibility for the future. So go and investigate Julia today as I have and better still spend some money on her music. 9/10.

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About Stevo Music Man

Music fan (Worked in music 79-92, gigs, collector, Indie DJ) Football (LCFC Season ticket), Travel, Read, Swim, Cycle & Internet.
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2 Responses to Review : Julia Stone – By The Horns

  1. Lambert Simnel says:

    Surprised you don’t mention that Bloodbuzz Ohio is a cover of a track by The National. I tried listening to her version of it on YouTube (the live in Amsterdam performance) and feel that it lost the atmosphere which makes this such a great song. Maybe it’s an age thing as well? I just don’t believe her when she sings that “I still owe money to the money to the money I owe“, while it’s easily believable from Matt Beringer. Oh well, I’ll try and listen to her other tracks a couple of times more, and forget about the cover.

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