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Angus & Julia Stone are practically tenants in our house. I almost knock on the bathroom door for fear they might be in there, brushing their teeth as I get ready for work. I hear their close, tempered harmonies every time my wife folds clothes, or looks for new houses on our crappy little laptop.

As such, there is a reassuring domesticity entangled with my preconceptions of them, a hint of unguarded sexuality. I can picture my wife drying her hair, her back revealed above a dressing gown, entwining voices whispering and repeating. As such my review of them necessarily comes with a lifetime of heavy, his 'n' hers baggage.

"Theres more to the picture than what we see or what we've heard" is a neat mission statement for the Antipodean brother and sister combo. The outlined suggestion of passion and the gentle tantalisation of the senses is often far more arousing than an outright, naked declaration. Promiscuity is cheap - whether in instrumentation, volume or language - as surely as bare realism is painful.

Because living with Angus and Julia can feel painfully intimate, even if 'Wherever You Are' isn't quite as raw as some of the tracks on their classic Down The Way. A few edges have been very skilfully resined and wire rubbed to mainline the cracks in their vocal delivery. There are moments when you are made aware of the extra hint of professionalism, and the slight step away from the folkish amateurism of previous albums. Rick Rubin certainly doesn't scream his presence - if I hadn't read the press blurb I wouldn't have guessed they hadn't self-produced with engineering assistance, as on previous records. Their work has never revelled in production, which I suppose makes them a perfect fit for Rubin.

Highlights include the opener 'A Heartbreak', which goes some way to delivering on a stated promise to provide something groovier. The track stomps along at a frustrated pace, with vocals that barely rise above languorous and still sparing lyrical couplets, melodies and instrumentation. Repetition has always been close to their hearts, the mildly trancelike effect it draws developing a sardonic, insouciant state. The sexual act is at the heart of Angus and Julia's particular intimacy. They revel in the homeliness of mirrored actions, and twice-read meanings.

Julia comes alive in her preening, sleepy-eyed sexualisation, especially on highlight 'My Word For It', which could take place entirely from the vantage point of the plain of a baby grand. Her voice drapes itself across the mechanistic backing on those tracks on which Angus takes a back seat - where they appear together, they create a third voice. In this respect they are one of the rare vocal duos who, when combined, seem to form a third character. Angus doesn't dramatise his voice in the same way, although there are moments when he seems to be trying to mutate into a frog prince, thinning down his performance, playing sidekick to himself.

The world of Angus and Julia Stone is a fully realised caricature of real life. Everything exists in eternity, and wherever you go there is always a route home, and an emphasis on the tribal act of returning. Their latest adds a number of new facets to their performance, without diluting what makes their reality any less romantic.

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