I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of folk music or slow tempo music in general. I like my fast-moving indie-rock and pop I can dance to and pretend I’m a rock star. The only reason why I know Angus Stone is because I lived in Australia for a year and he’s basically a national icon there. And I know one of his most popular songs with his sister Julia, “Big Jet Plane,” because it came off the “Easy A” soundtrack.
My interest was renewed when a friend invited me to see Angus Stone at the Rock & Roll Hotel Friday Sept. 28. Even though I hadn’t listened to him much, I went because I didn’t have anything else to do and I desperately needed to hear an Aussie accent again. Before the concert, I listened to his record to be at least somewhat familiar with his newer music. After the first 15 seconds of the first song, I was sold; I couldn’t bloody wait to see him live.
The song I fell in love with, “River Love,” comes off Stone’s debut solo album “Broken Brights.” It’s an intimate, musically detailed album about his journey around the world, meeting new people, seeing new places and falling in love. This record is a confection of acoustic stringed instruments, laid-back vocals and poignant lyrics. “River Love” opens with an ensemble of sweet mandolins and moving fiddles. Stone’s smoky voice sings about the first time he met his (now ex-) girlfriend, Isabel Lucas.
As folksy as the album is, I put it on replay even though slow music usually bores me to tears. The thing about Stone is that I don’t get bored with his music; there’s always some intricate detail I’ve missed the first time around. When I listen to the record again, I feel like I’m listening to something new. There’s always something to discover with Angus Stone.
I know I’ll be a permanent Angus Stone fan because when I saw him live, I was smitten. He’s not into theatrics; he’s simple, unkempt and honest. He probably hasn’t shaved in 30 years and his clothes are rumpled and worn. He admitted on stage that he misses his big sister Julia who does the talking during their shows together. After a while, he warmed up to the audience and played his music earnestly and enjoyably.