Vance Joy releases his debut album Dream Your Life Away in the UK on Monday (15 September) but you can listen to the record now ahead of its release, plus he's written us a track-by-track guide to the record.
Winds Of Change This is the first song that I wrote that I was really proud of. I wrote this back in 2009 and it was at a point in my life where I wasn’t even thinking about doing music and this song came out of me. I played it to my family and friends and it kind of started the whole dream of being a musician, so it’s a special song to me and it’s a good place to start the album.
Mess Is Mine This song has a very cool guitar riff at the start and it was the first bit of the song that I wrote. It was really easy to write lyrics over that and it’s always cool when you have a strong riff to work with. I wrote the bridge in a different period of song writing, actually I was talking to my mum and she said this line when I was playing it, “you still make sense to me, your mess is mine” and I really liked that line. It reminded me a bit of Norwegian Wood by the Beatles that Guy goes into the girls place and he’s intoxicated by the atmosphere.
Wasted Time This is a song I wrote just after I recorded my first EP and it was one that really benefited from the production experience. Ryan my producer put in a really cool drum beat at the end that lifted the song from just being a slow acoustic ballad to being a more powerful, pulsing song and I got to play the electric guitar at the end, I rarely get to do that but I got to play a Gibson SG and totally loved it. I want to get an electric guitar to take on the road with me, I don’t know if there’s room for it yet but at some point.
Riptide This track that kick started my whole musical journey. I wrote it on a ukulele. I started writing it in 2008, finished it in 2012 and it’s kind of a strange soup of different ideas and colours that somehow makes sense. It’s a really upbeat song but it’s also got a touch of melancholy or something cool, it’s a quirky song.
Who Am I I wrote this last year and it was inspired by a poem about laying your dreams at someone’s feet and hoping that they can take care of them and not trample them. It’s got an African drumming thing going on as well; it’s a light touch on the album.
From Afar I wrote this a few years ago. It was on my EP and it’s kind of a main stay on my set list. Basically all the songs I’ve written are but this one I always play because I feel like it’s got a powerful story that I like to tell. I feel like people can relate to it.
We All Die Trying To Get It Right The title a line out of a film I was watching and I thought it was great and you don’t always get to attach a lyric perfectly into a song but sometimes it does work, you start with the lyric. This was a case of that and luckily there was a melody that supported that line.
Georgia This is probably one of my favourite songs on the album because I wrote it on news year’s day when I wasn’t expecting to write a song and it used a riff that I hadn’t found a place for. It was just kind of sitting around and I thought it would never get used and it came out of nowhere. It’s a different song to the rest of the album so it’s a nice change
Red Eye It's about the long Haul flight from Perth to Melbourne and the character in the story is a guy catching a flight home to see his girl and he doesn’t know, I guess, where he stands and he’s flying home to find that out. It’s a bit of a longer one, a longer rolling journey of a song.
First Time I was inspired by a line in an Ernest Hemmingway book about things having the greatest impact the first time, like the first cuts the deepest kind of idea. So I stole that and put that in this song and it’s got a lot of images from youth and being fun, free and in love and the way they can make a really strong impression on you.
All I Ever Wanted I wrote this drawing together a few ideas. My friend told me about a movie where a baby is getting christened and the holy water goes in the baby’s eyes and it starts crying and I really like that image so I make a line about getting holy water in my eyes. I feel like it’s got a Da Da Da Da Da bit at the end, am uplifting kind of bit.
Best That I Can I wrote this song about a week before the album was due and I was like, “guys, not great timing we’ve got to give this thing in, do we have time to record this?” I asked my manager and we found time. So we did half a day in London and half a day in Vienna, it was super GO GO GO GO GO! But after we got it down it felt so good, and I’m glad that this is there because we love playing this live, and it’s going to be a good live song. It was kind of inspired by a John Steinbeck short story.
My Kind Of Man I feel like this was a good thing to close with. It’s a slow love song, and I guess it’s ‘advice to a guy’ kind of song. It was inspired by a Lynyrd Skynyrd song called simple kind of man, which sounds completely different to this song but the sentiment of being humble, being small and gracious as a person, that’s the idea behind it. Vance Joy @vancejoy
For more head to Vancejoy.com.