The wait is over for fans of Melbourne musician turned global star Vance Joy, with his long-awaited second album ‘Nation Of Two’ set for release later this month.
The follow-up album to Vance’s number one, platinum accredited, 2014 debut album ‘Dream Your Life Away’, ‘Nation Of Two’ was written and recorded in between Vance’s non-stop, global touring schedule. “I’m feeling really good about it, it was a long time coming,” Vance says.
“I spent the last 18 months writing songs and coming back and forth from Australia to America and doing a lot of songwriting and recording, and so I’m glad that it all took shape. It’s nice to be standing back from it now with a completed body of work.”
‘Nation Of Two’, which features 13 tracks, transports listeners to a world of love and longing, with Vance’s storytelling painting poignant imagery. “I’ve always gravitated towards love songs, but with some of these songs, the theme that I felt was happening was that there was very intimate stories of couples.
“I came across a Kurt Vonnegut [American writer] quote, ‘nation of two’, and wrote it in my phone, and when it was time to come up with an album title I saw it in my phone and I thought it really encapsulated the theme that ran through the album.”
The three songs released from the album so far – ‘Lay It On Me’, ‘Like Gold’ and ‘We’re Going Home’- have been warmly received by fans, with last year’s ‘Lay It On Me’ remaining in the ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart six months on from its release. “I’ve felt really good about the reception,” Vance says.
“I think you get a bit of an idea playing the songs to your friends and family, but it’s also nice every now and then when you get a message from a friend or someone that you haven’t spoken to for a while, and they’re like: ‘I’ve been listening to your song ‘Like Gold’ and I really like it.’ Those little affirmations are really cool and they never get old.
“Following the success of ‘Riptide’, the pressure was really less about meeting the same standard because I think some of those things are out of your control.
"All you can really do is write songs and the barometer for me is, do I have 12 or 13 songs that I feel proud of and that have a special quality to me?
"And if I felt like it was special, or it gave me a great feeling to sing it and I wanted to sing my heart out when I was playing that song, it would be the barometer for me that it was a worthy song. And I feel like I’ve done that so that’s a relief.”
The ‘Nation Of Two’ album cover artwork, featuring a line sketch of a reclining, intertwined couple, was illustrated by Vance. “I do feel cool that I’ve actually done a little bit of artwork for the album.
“We had tried a bunch of photographs of me and there were a couple that I thought were good… but I didn’t believe in them enough to not try something else.
"So I tried sketching some figures and some very basic outlines, and I worked with a guy called Pat Fox who’s a visual designer, and he made it much more smooth and thought it out in terms of how the layout would work. So it was a good team effort.”
‘Nation Of Two’ is released 23 February. Vance Joy plays Sydney City Limits at Centennial Park 24 February.
Fri 14 Sep - Hordern Pavilion (Sydney)
Vance Joy Tour Dates
Sat 15 Sep - Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne)
Tue 18 Sep - Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide)
Fri 21 Sep - The Riverstage (Brisbane)
Sun 23 Sep - Fremantle Arts Centre