• Amy Middleton


Updated: May 7

Highly anticipated, Sixty Summers comes nine years after Julia Stone’s last solo record and makes a powerful rebirth for one of Australia’s most prolific artists. Emerging from the wilderness of folk and indie-rock, Sixty Summers sees Stone diving headfirst into the cosmopolitan and hedonistic world of late-night, moonlit pop, and brings listeners all the grit and glitter of the city. Sixty Summers is Julia Stone at her truest and brightest self.

Recorded over five years from 2015 to 2019, Sixty Summers was shaped and influenced by Stone’s collaborators on the album: Thomas Bartless, aka Doveman, and Grammy-award winning singer, songwriter and producer Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent. Stone says: “I wrote this music over so many years, and through different life experiences and moments. It means a lot to me to finally share with everyone these hidden stories of that time”.

Lead single and record title track ‘Sixty Summers’ is a tale inspired by Stone’s early twenties, summers spent with friends on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, attending parties and experiencing the visceral elements of an Australian summer – “the smell of salt water and sunscreen and mangoes and dead Christmas trees”, she says. In the throes of youthful wonder, one of Stone’s friends turned to her and asked, “Can you believe we’ve only got sixty summers left?”. With its warm, reverb soaked guitar and bright horn section, Sixty Summers fells like the perfect soundtrack for that time of year. Stone explains: “This song is about what you do with your sixty summers. Do we waste it trying to grapple for more money and comfort, or do we live to make each other happy?”.

The title track follows the formidable ‘Fire In Me’, and ‘We All Have’, a tender ballad featuring the unmistakable vocals of The National frontman Matt Berninger. There’s dreamy, rose coloured ‘Dance’, and the ethereal ‘Unreal’, meanwhile ‘Break’ is an exciting song drenched in dazzling moonlit pop.

Each single from Sixty Summers has been revealed alongside artwork produced by surrealist Spanish-Croatian artist Filip Custic, whose work explores the impact of digital technologies on our conscience and sense of identity. For the visuals, Stone collaborated closely with a slew of creatives, all the while flexing her own acting and dancing muscles throughout the process. Australian director and one of Stone’s oldest friends and long-term collaborators, Jessie Hill, brought tracks ‘Break’ and ‘Dance’ to life, with the latter featuring stellar performances from Susan Sarrandon and Danny Glover.

Sixty Summers is a world unto itself, a surreal and breath-taking new landscape. It finds Stone claiming every part of herself: fire, fury, love, lust, longing. This is an album you can dance to, and one you can lose yourself in completely.

Sixty Summers is out now.