Julia Stone steps out on her lonesome, not for the first time but for her second solo release, By The Horns.
As an avid listener of Angus and Julia Stone, it came as a surprise that this was her second solo release. It's refreshing to see an artist releasing material so quickly whilst becoming a worldwide sensation.
With Julia Stone's By the Horns, she has matured as a songwriter and as a musician. It's clear to see that her work is what keeps her focused and reading her interview with Larry, it seems to keep her grounded at the same time.
With this record, she maintains that quaky, sultry tone she's famous for, but in amongst all of this she takes more chances with her arrangements. Take for instance the almost break-beat percussion accompanying her on "With The Light".
"Break Apart" has it's clear soul Influences; lush autumnal organs playing in symphony with the percussion. "I'm Here Not There" wouldn't be amiss on an Angus and Julia Stone record, with the subtle addition of strings to drive the message home. Title track "By The Horns" brings in the organ once again with an obvious Jazz/Soul/R'n'B tinge to separate it from what we're accustomed to hear from Julia.
Through her touring she's made friends with bands such as The National. Drummer Bryan Devendorf now tours with her, as well as their keyboardist Thomas Bartlett, who produced this record. This led Julia to delivering a beautiful acoustic cover of "Bloodbuzz Ohio", make of it what you will, but it shows her eagerness to step out on her own accord.
While not exactly the most up-beat record, there are parts that show Julia moving into unfamiliar territory, and others where she shows restraint. It's an introspective record which would bode well in this cold winter, sitting drinking a cup of warm tea while watching the world turn. Which is what you want as a fan of her work, and aptly timed to follow off her success with Angus, not to mention his own solo album. The future will be an interesting one for them both...
Review Score: 7.5 out of 10