Emotional wellspring set free
Angus Stone drew on a diverse array of inspirations for his new solo record, writes
T’S easy to picture the scene of Angus Stone’s new home in the hinterland of northern NSW. His house is a shed beside a lake surrounded by pine trees, the only electricity supplied by a generator he has to switch off each night before bed.
It’s a bit of a trek to the noisy power maker, one that isn’t pleasant when it happens to be cold and raining.
Stone’s companion is his dog Inca and his property, pet and vintage car all feature in the video for the single Wooden Chair.
‘‘I found a place where there was a big old lake and pine trees and a big block; I needed a place to call home for a bit otherwise you can feel lost,’’ he says.
‘‘I haven’t had my own bed for seven years and you end up making everywhere your home. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been in the travelling circus forever. It’s time to jump off the wagon for a bit.’’
When he jumped off, Stone and his sister Julia went their separate ways. For now.
They had intended to do another Angus and Julia album but circumstances prevailed and she went to New York while he came back to Australia to find a home.
She released her latest solo record, By The Horns, in May while her brother’s Broken Brights debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts in June.
Stone regards the songs on Broken Brights – the title came from the effect strong, bright light can have on Super 8 tape – as soundtracks to mini-movies in his mind.
Some are film noir, others grainy washedout westerns.
‘‘A lot of them were written in motion so, in a way, they are motion pictures for me,’’ he says.
‘‘Being on the road and writing you feel like you’re looking from the outside in. It’s like being in someone else’s shoes and a self-portrait at the same time. You can let your imagination run wild a bit more.’’
His diverse inspiration for the album’s offerings included everything from old western movies to a German city.
But the emotional depth of his vocals hails from an internal wellspring rather than external influence.
‘‘When I fall in love, I really fall in love and when I fall out of love, I really fall out of love. I think sometimes I’m passionate about everything in my life,’’ he says.
‘‘Sometimes I wish I could live in that middle ground but it’s not where I live.’’
He is OK with living alone up in the middle of nowhere with Inca.
‘‘Yeah, I love being alone. I’m fine with the shadows and the darkness,’’ he says.
Stone, who performed tracks from Broken Brights in his set at Splendour in the Grass last month, will head to the US in September for a month-long headline tour – his first shows there without Julia – before his Australian tour in November.
Angus Stone plays The Great Northern Hotel, in Byron Bay, on November 7, The Hi-Fi, in Brisbane, on November 9, the Coolangatta Hotel on November 10 and Homebake, in Sydney, on December 8.
Angus Stone found inspiration in everything from old western movies to a German city on his solo album,