For anyone in the mood to return to slow, summer days with distant memories of love, curiosity, and wanderlust regaling your mind, Angus and Julia Stone’s “Big Jet Plane” is definitely the track to play. With its steady bassline, soulful crooning lyrics and wistful melodies, the song has a way of instantly transporting listeners to a simpler time and place.
Angus and Julia Stone are now one of the most successful duos in the world, and “Big Jet Plane” remains one of their most beloved songs. As they continue to attract a growing legion of fans to their music, we thought we would pay tribute to the modern folk classic that started it all.
Originally penned by Angus under the stage name “Lady of the Sunshine” for his 2009 album “Smoking Gun”, it was then re-recorded and released the following year with his twin sister Julia. On 26 January 2011, Triple J announced that their version was the winner of its 2010 Hottest 100. That honour gave them the impetus they needed to become a household name and put them on the national stage as it also won the ARIA Music Awards of 2010 for Single of the Year.
The story of a young couple in love eager to explore the world together instantly resonates with audiences everywhere. Julia’s tender vocals wrap the listener in a world of desires that many dream of but never have the courage to pursue. The vivid imagery, supported by a glorious arrangement, made it so easy to get lost in the song as Angus and Julia Stone mined a nostalgic theme while keeping it fresh at the same time.
Eventually the track found its way to global audiences where it became a top charter in France, Belgium, and was on constant rotation on US and British airwaves. In the years since, its popularity has never diminished as numerous artists chose to cover and remix the seminal track. Australian DJs Goodwill and Hook N Sling applied a House groove to it when they released their version in 2011 under the title “Take You Higher.” Other artists who climbed on board the “Big Jet Plane ” include Brazilian DJ and producer Alok with an electrifying, EDM version upgrade with French DJ/producer Mathieu Koss.
Despite many turbulent years, the siblings have continued to record music despite the tension over their solo careers and artistic direction. The 2021 album Life is Strange proved that they were still one of the most talented duos on the Australian scene and their 2022-2023 tour schedule sees them play alongside icons of the game including Crowded House and Ben Harper.
Looking back, it’s easy to see why the song was such a hit. “Big Jet Plane” is a beautifully written catchy tune that perfectly captures the feeling of being in love and the yearning to take off somewhere, anywhere. The Angus & Julia Stone version is particularly special, with the brother-sister duo’s harmonies adding an extra layer of magic to the already magical song.
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Jay B McCauley is a renowned award-winning music journalist, broadcaster and record producer. He has written for some of the biggest platforms in the game and runs his own label Vagrant Soundz.