Vance Joy is back and better than ever. His new album, Nation of Two, was just released on February 23, 2018. This album stays true to Vance Joy’s usual mix of Australian folk and indie pop, while still completely distinguishing itself from his previous 2014 album; Dream Your Life Away. The first single, “Lay It On Me”, gave fans a taste of what they could expect a couple months before the full album was dropped. It is fresh and energetic, like much of the rest of his works. This song features a strong beat and trombone that are an interesting change from most of Vance Joy’s other music, but certainly make this song unique. Moving through the album, Nation of Two opens with a simple and vulnerable love song titled “Call If You Need Me”. The twangy guitar and falsetto vocals introduce a soft opening. This song also showcases Vance Joy’s unique vocals. He often times sounds shake-y and imperfect, adding to his genuine and authentic presence that comes through in his music. Next up, “We’re Going Home” picks up the pace quite a bit and really attracts the listener’s attention. With a similar sound to Ed Sheehan’s recent music, Vance Joy mixes an upbeat instrumental background and fun lyrics to make this song quite catchy. “Saturday Sun” is a perfect example of growth and experimentation from Vance Joy. Leaving behind his slight folk influence, this song pulls strongly from pop and, dare I say, rap, with fast beats and lyrics. Getting back to a traditional Vance Joy feeling, “Take Your Time” and “Like Gold” both feature a repetitive background and lyrics that stay true to his typical persona. We slow down again with “I’m With You”. This song has nothing but an acoustic guitar, vocals, and a piano background that slows listeners down to appreciate all the little details included. Following up with “Alone With Me”, the most notable thing is the beat that seems to be purposefully off tempo. While a little uncomfortable at first, I gained an appreciation once every piece of the song was brought together and it was overall tastefully done and fun to follow. “Crashing Into You” follows its name to a tee. This song has the same rhythm of a beach wave crashing the shore and makes you want to close your eyes and sway along. One of my personal favorites of the album, “Bonnie and Clyde” is a song full of story. It follows the famous crime couple through their endeavors, while somehow being simple, sweet, and poetic. Overall, Nation of Two is a great mix of old and new Vance Joy. Some songs pay tribute to the old Vance that we know and love, and some make room for experimentation and fresh sounds.
Album review of Nation of Two by Vance Joy