It’s been three years since Sydney-born siblings Angus & Julia Stone released their self-titled album. Snow is a welcome return to serene sounds which stay true to the minimalist production of previous endeavours.
The title track kicks things off with an oxymoronic, sunny tinge to its tone. Call and response vocal techniques trickle through the album and take precedent in the first track, exploring failing relationships, as well as moving on from them; “Looking at the stars, I have you to myself / Standing here with you and thinking of someone else. / Blanket on my back, I’m cold, I’m cold again. / Smile in the snow, tryna find something to say”.
“Chateau” comprises of a melodic backdrop which later develops into an ethereal display of vocal layering which echoes Bon Iver's “Calgary”. Young romance is the driving force behind the song as Angus Stone coos “we can go to the Chateau Marmont and dance in the hotel room […] / I don't mind if you wanna go anywhere / I'll take you there.”
“Nothing Else” takes us back to the duo's acoustic roots, with smooth harmonies and saccharine lyrics to boot, while pop ballad “Who Do You Think You Are” offers an accompaniment of guitars with a country twang (similar to those from “Yellow Brick Road” off their second album), and the smooth sheen of “Sylvester Stallone” finishes the full-length with peace and polish.
Lead tracks “Snow” and “Chateau” may create the most groundswell, but don't neglect the rest of the album - even if some tracks take a little longer to really sink into your earbuds. They're well worth the wait.