Many bands like to take a breather in between projects or tours, but not the Aussie brother-sister team Angus & Julia Stone.
Two years ago, after an exhausting world tour promoting their lissome folk debut “A Book Like This,” Angus spent his entire break writing, then recording “Smoking Gun,” under the sobriquet Lady of the Sunshine.
Last year, after another globe-trotting jaunt, Julia came to rest in New York City, but couldn’t sit still. In her down time, she too recorded a solo set, “The Memory Machine.” It was just in time to meet up with her sibling again for “Down the Way,” their new sophomore disc.
“For both of us, because we write separately and then release a record once every couple of years, six tracks each just wasn’t enough to get what we were doing out,” says Julia, who’ll be hawking import copies of “Memory” when the duo hits The City on Wednesday.
When Angus cut his solo record, she watched in amazement. She says, “He was really focused, and he just had so much music going on at that time. Still does, actually. But when we took our last break, I was the one with lots of songs. I wasn’t even thinking about releasing them straightaway — I just wanted to record them.”
The Stones have so much holding-pattern material, they’ve just put out an EP, “Big Jet Plane,” featuring the otherworldly-voiced Julia’s take on the “Grease” classic “You’re the One That I Want.”
“All those old musicals are just a part of my blood,” she says. “And they’ll come out at the most random points — sometimes I’m singing ‘The Little Mermaid,’ sometimes songs from ‘Pinocchio.’”
The Stones have become such vagabonds, they essentially recorded “Down” on the run.
In addition to using New York studios in Queens, Williamsburg and Battery Park, the Stones also employed curious converted facilities like a water tank in Australia’s Coolangatta and even an old sawmill outside of Cornwall, England.
“We were living in London, but we grew up by the ocean,” Julia says. “So whenever we had some time off, we just wanted to get out of the city. And we wanted to record, so went on the Internet and typed in ‘Cornwall,’ ‘studio’ and ‘by the water,’ and this sawmill studio came up.”
The musicians have done their best to not lose touch with their Newport/Sydney heritage, even though Julia won’t be going home for awhile.
“I’m very happy wherever I am,” she says. “So wherever they book the last show of our tour, that’s probably where home will be!”
IF YOU GO
Angus & Julia Stone
Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Contact: (415) 771-1421; www.ticketweb.com