Angus & Julia Stone A Book Like This

With appealing melodies and a typically youthful mixture of angst and naivety, A Book Like This is the poppy and polished debut album of a young Australian brother and sister duo. Siblings Angus and Julia take turns at the microphone throughout the disc. Julia's quirky, Björk-like vocal style — slightly raspy like a rusty garden gate — aches with longing on "Wasted," a song steeped in the timelessness and easy familiarity of an instant classic. Angus's gentle, high-pitched voice is fresh and inviting, both alone and in harmony. The disc, which has already gone gold in their native land, boasts sparkling arrangements: simple strummed or finger-picked guitar and brushed drums are livened up with captivating elements like the funky, addictive bass-line on "Private Lawns" and the harmonica and delicately bouncing piano line of "Just A Boy." "Young and free in the sun," sings Angus on hushed opener "Mango Tree," a line that nicely sums up this collection of bright and wispy folk pop tunes. (Nettwerk)