If you ever get a chance to grab coffee with Julia Stone, here’s a tip – she loves a flat white.
The normally bubbly songstress was sounding even bouncier down the line when we started our chat – and she had the caffeine fix to thank for that.
“I just had my first coffee of the day and now I am totally jacked up,” she said.
“I go between a flat white and a long black, sometimes I just get over milk.”
One person she hasn’t been having a lot of coffees with lately is brother and regular collaborator Angus – the other half of the successful duo that seduced the country and many other parts of the world with their second album Down the Way.
The album saw Angus and Julia Stone clean up at the 2010 ARIA Awards – and featured that year’s triple j Hottest 100 winner, Big Jet Plane.
But instead of doing a follow-up to their breakout release – both of them have decided to do something for themselves.
Angus has been in London preparing for the release of his new solo record Broken Brights, while Julia released her own solo record By The Horns in May and has booked a string of theatre dates and other shows across the country in September.
Which begs the question – why have the members of one of Australia’s most successful brother/sister acts in recent times both embarked on solo careers?
“We had been touring together for six years and we both have so many songs which we wanted to record and work on…and when we do a record together, it always ends up being half his songs and half my songs anyway,” Julia said.
“We were like, ‘let’s go do our own thing and have that creative freedom.’
“It was time for us to do this. It was a natural progression for us because we’ve been together for so long and we’ve always written separately and been solo artists in our own heads…we just happen to tour together.”
Angus and Julia started work on another joint album before changing their plans and deciding to do their own individual releases.
But Julia is quick to add that there’s no bad blood in the family – and she’ll definitely work with Angus again in the future.
“He’s somebody I’ll always want to collaborate with, I’m his biggest fan,” she said.
“We’re always going to be there for each other…but we need to stand up on our own instead of always being together.”
“We will make something again, but when that will happen and how that will happen, I have no idea. Angus and I are pretty good at not planning now.”
Julia said By The Horns was a more cohesive and deeper album compared with her last solo effort, The Memory Machine.
“I think it’s different in the sense that it’s a bigger sound sonically,” she said.
“The songs were all a lot darker on The Memory Machine and there was very much a horrid kind of feeling to it… This time there’s more drums and heavier stuff in the record.”
“It feels like a body of work. I feel like they’re all tied in together sonically through the electronic sounds and the organs, and there’s a lot of piano as well… It has the feeling of continuity because of the choices of instruments on each track.”
And fans can hear all these sonically-tied-together sounds come to life when Julia embarks on her national tour in September – which she believes will be a new experience for all involved.
“It’s so new to me doing these shows…they’ve all been really different but really fun. It’s a whole different sound; it’s a new band and a new feeling,” she said.
“I can’t say what to expect… expect what I expect, which is… I really don’t know. It’s a new experience for me and a new experience for people.”
By The Horns is out now through EMI. Julia Stone is touring across the country in September – for all the dates, click here.