WPGM Recommends: Vance Joy – Nation Of Two (Album Review)

After four years of silence, Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy is finally ready to come back on the music scene with his new studio album titled Nation Of Two, which is the artist’s second studio album released on February 23 via Atlantic Records. It debuted at number one on the Australia’s ARIA album charts, demonstrating that although it has been 4 years since Vance Joy’s last record, the audience has not forgotten about him.

The Australian artist achieved international fame in 2014 when he released his debut album titled Dream Your Life Away which soared to number 1 on the Australian Albums Chart, the album included chart-topping single “Riptide”, which is one of the most popular songs by Vance Joy.

Nation Of Two is in line with the previous works of the artist, the indie folk/indie pop sound and the simple melody are the artist’s main characteristics. The 13-track album offers to the listener, a dreamy and delicate sound, which is very relaxing.

The melodies of this album are deliberately simple, so we can concentrate on the lyrics, even the instrumental parts are not particularly complex and the range of instruments is not very rich, the Australian artist has favoured giving more space to the acoustic parts to maintain a typical campfire atmosphere.

Speaking about Nation Of Two, Vance Joy explained: “Nation Of Two describes a perfectly self-contained couple; their world beginning and ending at the bed they share, the car they ride in, or any other place where they’re together… the idea that their love for each other gives them their bearings; a point of reference that makes sense of life“.

Lay It on Me” is the lead single from the album, the track, which was released on July 12, 2017, is the perfect introduction for Nation Of Two because it is catchy and fun with romantic lyrics.

It is probably the most complex song of the album, speaking about melody, galloping percussion and backing singers are some of the elements that make of this song a great hit. “Lay It on Me” reminds me of Joy’s earlier songs such as “Rapid”. This song debuted at number 18 on the Australian Singles Chart and has been certified platinum.

I’m With You” is an amazing love song and the artist’s favourite track of the album as he said on his Twitter account. The best parts of this song are the sweet and simple acoustic guitar arrangements, thanks to that, we can fully enjoy the emotional voice of Vance Joy.

The Australian artist whispers sweet words to his beloved, the song describes the fragility of two lovers who can’t fight against such a strong feeling. Speaking about “I’m With You”, he said “The idea that their love for each other gives them their bearings; a point of reference that makes sense of life”.

Saturday Sun” and “Like Gold” are more energetic and fun. In these two songs, the listener can appreciated the Australian famous ukulele, and these two tracks are more commercial and pop, compared to the rest of the album.

Another characteristic feature of this album is the nostalgic and cosy atmosphere present in some of the album’s songs like “Little Boy” where the artist describes his childhood relationships with his parents, ending with the repeating lyric “I’ll always be that Little Boy“.

Despite being a great album, the lack of originality is one of the criticisms made by several critics of Vance Joy’s latest studio work, as they state that Joy touches the bare minimum of indie folk, never really transcending the genre. For me though, Nation Of Two is the perfect album to listen to on a long drive with old friends or while relaxing on a warm summer day – an album, easy to listen to and very romantic.

Vance Joy is currently on tour in the UK, before heading to America next month for a massive 4-month tour, but not to worry, he returns to the UK and Europe in October. Don’t miss the opportunity to see him live in London this November, as he will be performing live in Alexandra Place on November 15, the tickets are now on sale here.

We can’t wait to see him live in November. Nation Of Two is out now via Atlantic Records, purchase it on iTunes here, and stream it below.

Words by Rebecca Donati

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