COLUMN: Vance Joy releases light and airy sophomore album 'Nation Of Two'


Vance Joy attends "NYLON x BOOHOO Celebrate the June/July Music Issue" in New York on June 4, 2015. Joy's second album, "Nation of Two", was released Feb. 23. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service Buy Photos

Certain bands and musicians bring me to a different place. They make everything look as though it's covered in a layer of sunlight, creating nostalgia for moments that have not, and may never, happen. 

Vance Joy is one of those artists.

Vance Joy, born James Keogh, is an Australian indie folk singer and songwriter. He began his career by doing open mics while completing a law degree. When he found success in his music, he put law on hold, according to his Spotify artist page. 

Vance Joy keeps his private life very private. His name as a musician is from a character in Peter Carey’s novel "Bliss," and that’s about the entirety of what the internet has on his life outside of music. I believe this allows him to grow more in depth as an artist while also living his personal life without worry.

It’s sometimes easy for artists to get caught in their biggest hit, but you don’t see that with Vance Joy. Vance Joy gained traction with his 2013 song “Riptide” from his first EP “God Loves You When You’re Dancing” and debut album “Dream Your Life Away.” 

“Riptide” blew up on the radio, and the now-30-year-old musician became a bit of a sensation. He gained a following after he performed with Taylor Swift as part of her “1989" world tour, and it was well deserved.

It’s been a little over three years after his debut album, and Vance Joy has finally graced the public with his sophomore album, “Nation Of Two,” released Feb. 23. The wait, in my opinion, was well worth it. His newest work draws from the same ukulele sound and his soft voice but does not sound exactly like it did before. The sound has changed for the better.

Vance Joy’s music has always felt like sunlight. It feels light and airy. Vance Joy is like walking on a beach with a lover, hand in hand, enjoying the sunset while eating ice cream together. His voice is soothing, and his lyrics about relationships quite literally make you feel like you’re in one even when you aren’t.

“Oh, Saturday Sun/I met someone/Out on the West Coast/I gotta get back, I can’t let this go,” he sings on the upbeat, ukulele-centered “Saturday Sun,” making me feel as if I need to get on a plane to the West Coast because a lover awaits me there.

“So we might as well say/What’s on our minds/’Cause there’s no way to know/When it’s your time to go,” he sings in “Bonnie & Clyde,” making me think I need to contact everyone I’m crushing on just to tell them that I think they’re cute. 

Don’t worry, even trapped under a Vance Joy-induced spell, I will not be doing this.

Even the city of London seems to be indulging in Vance Joy. Posters line the walls of the tube stations, loud and demanding, broadcasting his album and the fact that he will be playing Nov. 13 at the Alexandra Palace in London. 

Unfortunately, Vance Joy will not be making a stop in Bloomington, but you can stream his album on Spotify and pretend you’re in the Bahamas with a lover for free.

For this week, I made a playlist featuring artists, including Vance Joy, The Lumineers, Passenger and James Bay. I decided to keep the upbeat and airy theme going throughout the playlist, and you can stream it here.

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