Since Angus Stone made his appearance on the music scene with sister Julia, there’s always been a sense of something untapped yet to appear under the restrained, folk-inspired sounds that marked these early days of his career.
Then in 2016, when Stone began creating under the monika Dope Lemon – a more soulful exploration of music made and produced at Stone’s own ranch near Byron Bay – it felt that this hidden side had found its path into the light.
This month sees the release of Stone’s third ‘Dope Lemon’ Rose Pink Cadillac, a collection of tunes that runs as cruisy as their namesake car and the perfect soundtrack to wrap up your summer with.
To give you a taste of what to expect, Pink Rose Cadillac is the auditory equivalent of knocking back a glass of chilled rum (Appleton, if you need to ask).
Veering flawlessly between psychedelia, funk and up-tempo soul, Rose Pink Cadillac delivers a temporal journey from day to night, starting with more upbeat tempos before moving on to sultry evening jams to chill to.
ICON spoke to Stone about his new album and how Dope Lemon has helped him find his soul.
What’s the story behind the new album Rose Pink Cadillac?
I guess the narrative of this album is something you start to piece together after you finish it as a whole and you have a moment to take it all in. An analogy for this is it’s kind of like when you see little kids sitting in front of the television. They shuffle all the way up and sit in front of the television, and its right up close and all they are really seeing are the colours and sounds flashing by. It’s only after you shuffle back you’re able to see and know what the story is. I guess that’s what it’s like writing and making records sometimes. Long story short. The narrative is Love. Discovering it, losing it, exploring what it has to offer. Then with that knowledge using it in the best way it can be used by sharing it with the world.
I read that the album is a chronological experience – a shift from daytime to night time and it has a smoothness that feels almost like a modern bossa. Do you think that the experience of lockdowns, isolation, and a general change to how we interact, has created space for a more mellow music scene?
Yeah I think to be honest with the world’s chaos and impending doom the last two years has thrown at us, I think it can take something of this effect for us, again to see the beauty in what we have around us. Slowing us down and allowing us all to have a moment to immerse ourselves in the more simple things of life that perhaps has passed us by and somewhat been an afterthought. Music in general for people including myself is a great escapism and if anytime now is when we can really dive into these worlds music has to offer for the soul.
Another part of this process is what we did with the art on the vinyl with the light and dark on the animated discs. Make sure you take a look! It’s very magical.
Since embarking on the Dope Lemon project, what have you discovered about the kind of music you like to make?
Music has always been a place where I take myself to set my heart and mind free. Whatever be the project it’s been this really great exploration of taking my craft into new unexplored territory. Though I think with Dope Lemon it has almost amplified the freedom even more for myself to be able to discover something new in sounds and stories every time I step into the studio and this record is a perfect example of the travels we went on to create it.
How would you define the difference between Angus Stone and Dope Lemon? How does one inform the other?
The two and one are the same! Then at times they would pass each other on the street with just a tip of the hat.
What’s your favourite song on the album?
It’s “High Rollin’”! I had some poetry about a love story I wrote some ways back and always dreamt of having it translated into French. So when it came time for this record I called a friend in town who is a lovely human and also happens to be French! She came around and we began the process of first the translation then the learning of how to sing in French with the correct phonetics. What I’ve always loved about the crossover of language is…that in itself can be poetic because what you find is sometimes some things just don’t translate and they will flip over into this whole other meaning creating this even more profound way within the words and lines themselves. This was a really cool thing to do.