Italo-German couple dissect 'Broken Brights' by Angus Stone
Translation by:Karine Quarant-Schmidt
Angus Stone has left his sister Julia, and is back with a solo album which recalls the good old Woodstock days, albeit bathed in an instagram filter, stamping it with that hipster-compatible mark. Despite the impressive instrumental talent, the good-looking Australian is more Dawson's Creek than Bob Dylan
Katharina: What a pleasure it is to listen to Broken Brights after a long day's work. It makes you completely forget the big oppressive city and carries you far away with its whiff of simple guitar notes. That raucous but soft male-intonated voice is a more laid back version me of Kings of Convenience or Damien Rice.
Federico: Frankly? No. A guy who's hardly 26 repeating 'When we were young ' endlessly - I just find it ridiculous. I mean, he does not make me dream, he hasn't got enough experience to take me by the hand and bring me along with him on his trip. Ah ! These 'new hippies' don't know a thing about the seventies...
K: And you, do you think you’re old enough to know anything about it? (F is 29). He is young, yes, and honestly, the seventies made everybody dream a little. The orgy-tastic concerts, flowery dresses and bearded guys with their 'couldn't-give-a-damn' attitude, we don’t see anymore of that nowadays. Angus Stone does play thoroughly on that with his fresh and attractive looks coming straight out of Dawson's Creek. He's a sort of furry Ashton Kutcher who has just had his share of fun on the Woodstock lawns. I like that type of masculinity. Just with his guitar, you can imagine him smoking pot outside an Australian cottage. And with his music...
F: Where do you see the masculinity? When I started listening to the album I immediately thought of this new type of metrosexual, far too gentle with their subtle and weepy voices... honestly, I'm not surprised that he composed the music for Twilight (Love Will Take You duet with his sister Julia). I agree, he's a womaniser, just like Dawson is, but where’s the music beyond this?
K: When it comes to his voice, you're right. On this album, it gets completely lost in the instrumental surroundings. The lyrics also have very little impact. The emphasis is rather on the purity of vintage instruments: guitar, mandolin, mouth organ, trumpet. And it's there that he runs the show.
F: His voice is not losing itself, it's been literally raped by its lack of originality. He starts, as you said, on some Kings of Convenience (Broken Brights), carries on testing himself on Bob Dylan (Apprentice of the Rocket Man), disappears in a cloud of psychedelic sound as in Pink Floyd (Only a Woman) and finishes on The Verve (End of the World), and fortunately also, the end of the record. By the way, did you know that your smasher has already had an album produced in London by Richard Ashcroft's producer? He's still searching for himself !
K: OK. The song Only a Woman reminds me of Knockin’ on Heavens Door from Dylan, and I agree, he finds a lot of his inspiration in this musical period. But he does it well! People who love the seventies will be happy to listen to him, without falling into the tackiness of always having to adore the classic oldies. Besides, Stone is honest about his references. One of the last songs is a tribute to an anthem of the peace and love movement (Happy Together by The Turtles).
F: As I see it, those who like the seventies listen to the words of Dylan or the guitars of Pink Floyd, but not to an Australian surfer. Honestly, if you can’t find out who you are, please, don't make any covers ! Happy Together (exclusive track, ok, thanks, but I wouldn't like to belong to this exclusive club) - it’s just not possible anyway! To make covers, you need a musical background and a trademark. Muse picking up The Smiths, for example, that is a real cover, my dear Angus!
K: You can play your old hard-hat like as usual with your 'yore' tastes. I’d personally love to spend a quiet afternoon on the beach with a shirtless Angus, a guitar in his hands, until we both become completely 'stoned'.
Translated from « Broken Brights » d’Angus Stone : hipster-compatible