14 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Listening to Broken Brights, it’s easy to imagine Angus Stone wandering L.A.’s Laurel Canyon in the early ‘70s with a bevy of beguiled hippie damsels in tow. The Australian singer/songwriter (half of the sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone) taps into a slightly psychedelicized folk-rock vein reminiscent of Dylan, Gram Parsons, and (especially) Neil Young. Unlike on his first solo outing—Smoking Gun, credited to Lady of the Sunshine—Stone keeps the tone muted here, letting his vocals' insinuating drawl imply deep passions just beneath his seeming nonchalance. Songs like “Bird on a Buffalo,” “Wooden Chair," and the title tune unfold gradually to reveal evocative images of longing and loss. The childhood reveries of “Monsters” (accentuated with banjo and trumpet) and the Western revenge scenario within “The Blue Door” (driven home with reverb-laden guitar) highlight cinematic qualities in Stone’s music. At its best, Broken Brights conjures visions of lonesome desert expanses and starry Southern California nights, with love and danger waiting in the shadows.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Listening to Broken Brights, it’s easy to imagine Angus Stone wandering L.A.’s Laurel Canyon in the early ‘70s with a bevy of beguiled hippie damsels in tow. The Australian singer/songwriter (half of the sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone) taps into a slightly psychedelicized folk-rock vein reminiscent of Dylan, Gram Parsons, and (especially) Neil Young. Unlike on his first solo outing—Smoking Gun, credited to Lady of the Sunshine—Stone keeps the tone muted here, letting his vocals' insinuating drawl imply deep passions just beneath his seeming nonchalance. Songs like “Bird on a Buffalo,” “Wooden Chair," and the title tune unfold gradually to reveal evocative images of longing and loss. The childhood reveries of “Monsters” (accentuated with banjo and trumpet) and the Western revenge scenario within “The Blue Door” (driven home with reverb-laden guitar) highlight cinematic qualities in Stone’s music. At its best, Broken Brights conjures visions of lonesome desert expanses and starry Southern California nights, with love and danger waiting in the shadows.

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