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Angus and Julia Stone have returned to remind us how magical their music making is. The critically acclaimed brother and sister duo have released their sixth studio album Cape Forestier. While it may sound slightly reminiscent of their earlier records, it feels current and the evolution of their melodies and instrumentation is clear. Made amongst nature, the album is the perfect companion for getting down to earth. We spoke to Angus & Julia Stone about creating the world of Cape Forestier:

We’re so excited to be hearing new music from you both, together. Tell us about the starting point for this album. When did you begin the writing process? Do you remember when you consciously began the Cape Forestier journey?

Thank you! We're genuinely excited to share our latest music with everyone too. Cape Forestier began quite organically when I visited Angus at his Sugarcane Mountain Studios. Last year he revamped an incredible old 70s home in Northern NSW.  It's there where the seeds of this record started. We’re kind of always writing songs, so when we got together, sharing bits and pieces of tunes we’d been working on, the feeling was there to start thinking about an album. We often will be sharing songs and it doesn’t turn into an album, but something about this time felt right. We’ve learnt to trust the feeling of wanting to work together or wanting to have space to work on our own solo projects.

Speaking of, what is your process like these days? Has it changed over the years? Was anything remarkably different this time?

Our process has become more flowing over the years I suppose. We kind of have a shorthand that makes recording and writing really natural. That time, (making Cape Forestier) it felt a bit like those days back in our dad's living room in Newport, with the family’s piano (which is now in Angus’s living room at Sugarcane) where we’d simply hang out and make music. Sometimes, that's all you need—an idea, a melody, and you're away. We didn't map out the album from the start; it unfolded naturally. We spent some solid time working there, then life took us in different directions for a bit—Angus touring with Dope Lemon in the States and me settling into Berlin life. We finished the album across these various cities. It's pretty cool that, despite the album’s intimate, ‘living-room’ feeling, it's got layers from cities around the world.

The album feels very deep and visceral. What was inspiring you?

It’s always such a combination of this and that. Life experiences are usually the main source of song material but it’s everything… every little thing.… I don’t know, there are songs in all the parts of a day. The small details that you notice often end up being the most memorable lyrics.

Where did you create it? How important is your environment when writing?

I think it’s a mixture. Being in a beautiful space like Angus’s studio is incredible. The feeling, the openness. It’s all really magic and inspiring to look out and see the rolling sugarcane fields and the mountains, but then there’s also something really fun about just setting up the portable studio in a dodgy hotel… what really matters is the feeling we have. The way you wake up, the conversations you’re having, the things you feel you want or need to say. That’s what makes the record feel special. I think there’s a sense when you have that feeling that makes you want to record or write.

What have you learnt about each other or yourselves through the making of this project?

I think we’ve changed a lot as people in some ways, but then there is a line that runs through who we are from as far back as we can remember together. We have both grown a lot, and there’s a kind of self-acceptance that is calm and quiet. There’s not a lot of urgency to making or creating, that was perhaps a little more prevalent in our 20s—something kind of relaxed and less outcome-driven.

Which song are you most proud of or perhaps most excited for people to hear?

I’m really looking forward to people hearing Down to The Sea and No Boat, No Aeroplane. I'm currently excited about these two—they've been with us for quite some time and resonate deeply with us, and so to finally share them is a great feeling.

You’ve said this is your most stripped back album in a while. Did this happen naturally or was it a conscious choice? Did you work with anyone else on the album or was it just the two of you?

Yes, it happened naturally. We had done a short run of shows with Ben Harper, and we were playing in a more stripped-back way for some of the set—those songs in the set stood out and I think when we started creating this, it was a natural path to have a less is more approach… and they were the songs we started recording and writing when we started out on the journey with Cape Forestier.

You’re going on a mega tour. Is there a song you’re most excited to play live? What can fans expect from these shows?

Yeah, definitely excited to play ‘Losing You’. We sing in harmony through the whole song and there’s something really lovely about that sound and the way it feels to sing in that style for a whole song. Also there’s something effortless about the way the words and harmonies work together. So excited to sing that for the fans around the world.

What’s something you’re passionate about or that is inspiring you lately - aside from music?

I'm really inspired by the breathtaking Greek island of Hydra. There's an almost mystical quality to it that's utterly captivating. We spent a week there and the island has a timeless beauty. The way the sun sets over the cerulean sea, and the tranquillity of the car-free stone streets—it all weaves a spell that's hard to shake. The rich history of art and literature, the idyllic landscapes—it's as if the entire island pulses with creative energy.

What’s next?

The living room sessions world tour, then probably festivals, then who knows? We’ve stopped trying to plan anything too much. Everything changes so quickly and nothing is happening til it’s happening. The general gist is to keep making music… that’s about it.

Angus and Julia Stone's album Cape Forestier is out NOW. Catch them on the Australian dates of their Living Room Sessions tour this August.