Dazzle Me This – Throwing Stones

Well wouldn’t this have been a lovely addition to the last Fanfare mini-mix? But then again, I think it’s also highly deserving of it’s very own dazzling spotlight. The ‘this’ I speak of is the brand new single off the forthcoming sophomore album from Sydney’s very own Angus & Julia Stone. And it’s got some sweet-ass trumpet in it.

‘and the boys’ is a Julia song. Anyone familiar with this cute as a button, northern beaches brother and sister duo will know that Angus and Julia spread the songwriting, and thus lead vocal duties, between them. This could be a recipe for a stilted and jarring musical disaster, especially given that these two can often spend months apart from each other, writing completely separately and individually, in different spaces and places.

On their debut full-length, A Book Like This, there was no such jarring. I certainly noticed the differences between the Angus songs, and the Julia songs, but I think that’s their intention. And one of the things I found wonderful about the album, was that however they decided to compile the tracklisting, it never felt formulaic like, “oh OK, let’s go boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, boy, girl, girl” etc. Even though I got a definite sense of two strong and separate individuals, A Book Like This was whole and complete and utterly lovely.

I don’t know how the new album Down The Way is going to pan out, but I do know that I fell in love with ‘and the boys’ from the first note that hit my ears. It’s a bit of a heartbreaker, starting off slowly, with Julia’s woodland fairy-folk voice singing of love lost in melancholy breathiness.

As it builds though, and introduces the percussion and the vocal harmonies and Angus on trumpet, and as Julia sings about “gold, falling from the ceiling of this world, falling from the heartbeat of this girl”, and as all these lovely little colourful sprites start dancing barefoot in the beautiful music video that’s been made for this single, it’s clear that this is actually a beautiful and hopeful tune. It’s quite magical really, and I’m very much looking forward to exploring Down The Way in 2010, as well as catching them during their national album tour in March next year.

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Mini-mix this week has no cheap segue what-so-ever. In the wake of Canadian hip-hop, rap muso k-os’s brand new single ‘I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman’, I did a bit of sleuthing through the old music library to find see if I could find any other songs dedicated to famous peeps. As you would expect, there’s quite a few, here are my top three, just for a little bit of festive fun. x

I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman – k-os

I love a bit of a kooky story line in my music vids, almost as much as I like samples that remind me of the simple things in life, like the days when I had a crush on Seth Cohen.

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Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

Kim Carnes is one fierce blondie in this clip, rocking the billowing smoke and backlighting and shadows on the wall like no one else. I don’t even know what Bette Davis Eyes are, but I want them!

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Starlett Johansson – The Teenagers

To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised that there aren’t more songs dedicated to Scarlett J. The best thing about this song is listening to the way these Frenchies pronounce ‘monogamy’.

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