Critic’s Corner: Vance Joy’s “Nation of Two”

By Emma Culp, Staff Writer —

Singer songwriter Vance Joy released his second studio album Nation of Two on Feb. 23 reminding fans of his smooth and easy to listen to sound.

Vance Joy, born as James Gabriel Keogh, is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and he grew up as a star football player before dedicating his life to music. He coined the name Vance Joy after reading a book called “Bliss” and used the name of the wise grandfather in the book as his stage name.  

Upon his new release, fans are loving the same sound that once drew them in with new acoustic ballads of romance poetry mixed with pop influences. On top of incredible harmonies, the album features unique instruments such as banjo and ukulele accentuating the smooth sounds.

Some top songs that introduce the new album include “Call If You Need Me,” “Lay It On Me,” and “We’re Going Home.”  Fans are ecstatic as Joy will be going on a worldwide tour with his latest release beginning in March.

Most know the Australian songwriter for his hit single “Riptide” which was released in 2013 sparking worldwide interest in the songwriter. The song was inspired by a motel that Joy had stayed at as a child of the same name.

Joy also released his debut EP on March 22, 2013 titled God Loves You When You’re Dancing.

Joy’s music can be described as upbeat and easy going falling under the umbrella of alternative music. His music reflects the sound of folk music with an added pop sound making his sound unique yet universal.

Following the release of his first studio album Dream Your Life Away in 2014, he began his two-month U.S. tour promoting the album. Joy was also announced to be the opening act for worldwide pop and country artist Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour where he performed at all North American and Australian locations.

Joy ultimately launched his career in the U.S. when his hit single “Riptide” came on radios across America reaching number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The songwriter is also known for his song “Georgia” which he revealed he began writing in 2006 and was ultimately released in 2014 on his first studio album.

In 2015, Joy’s single “Great Summer” was featured on the soundtrack for the popular young adult movie Paper Towns further expanding his fan base.

Joy won Best Male Artist in 2015 at the ARIA Music awards as well as six nominations.

The Australian singer songwriter continues to amaze fans with his authentic ballads of romance and poetry with added pop influences creating the perfect song playing when turning on the radio.

Grace Stafford

Grace Stafford

Features Editor

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