Following four years of critically acclaimed collaboration with brother Angus, Julia Stone's The Memory Machine marks her first foray into solo musical terrain. With the global success of the duo’s first two albums and accompanying sell out tours, Julia’s debut solo album demonstrates a musical confidence and story-telling capacity that reflects her evolution as an artist.
On The Memory Machine Julia employs the talents of a range of musicians from her musical community and undertakes production duties alongside co-producers Keiran Kelly and Brad Albetta.
Subtle, minimal arrangements show the self-assuredness that Julia has brought to this timely project and though characteristically sweet and melodious, the subjects of her stories often run to the darker side, reflected in the artwork inspired by old horror flick posters. Written and recorded over five months in a variety of locations these songs comprise a journey of their own.
Her songs can comfortably inhabit the surreal, where love is an unreliable latchkey kid (‘Where Does the Love Go?’); an internal dying fire warms the hands of grasping sycophants (‘Lights Inside this Dream’); My Baby harks back to the sweet serenades of the fifties and ‘Catastrophe’ provides a delightful romp through the disasters of clumsy connections. The title track, ‘The Memory Machine’, is a paean to lost love from a simpler era with Julia’s hushed vocal veering into dreamy longing.
Julia’s talents as a musician are evident, providing not only vocal and guitar, but also piano, bass, ukulele and percussion, though it is Julia’s characteristic and unique vocals that shine here.
The Memory Machine is an intriguing, disturbing, moving and ultimately enchanting solo debut from an accomplished and self-assured artist.