Joy's career on a 'Riptide' as he heads to US for tour

Vance Joy Photo Contributed
Vance Joy Photo Contributed Contributed

AS I speak to Vance Joy during his downtime in Columbus, Ohio, while touring his way across the US, the man behind the music is relaxed and reflective.

Sharing his thoughts on live shows and the festival scene after playing some of the biggest on the planet recently (Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, Glastonbury), Vance (James Keogh), is most modest when it comes to talking about his successes so far.

"I have a huge team around me…I try to stay in contact with family and friends back home, which gives me a sense of perspective," he said.

"(Playing in the US), has been awesome. The crowds look like they go on forever; it's been a pleasure to play for people who wouldn't have heard my music before."

His debut album, out September 5 through Liberation and titled Dream Your Life Away, was mainly recorded just outside of Seattle with producer Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Gossip, Johnny Flynn) including a handful of songs being finished off in a tree house on the studio grounds.

Joy performed in Rockhampton last year in support of Bernard Fanning on his national tour, and while speaking to Bernard at the time, the former Powderfinger frontman was quick to sing James's praises, claiming he was definitely one to watch.

And he was right.

But unless you have no contact with radio, TV or the internet, you would've certainly heard the song titled Riptide, Joy's first single, which soon took on a life of its own, making it to number one on Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown without an album to call home.

It went worldwide, hitting No.10 in the UK, and Top 10 across Europe, has sold over a million copies worldwide and more.


Vance Joy's debut album Dream Your Life Away, out officially on September 5 is available to pre-order via iTunes and physical retailers for a special pre-release only price.

Mess is Mine; the one of the latest singles from the Melbournian was one of the tracks well received from the crowds, he said, but the album process itself took a little longer than expected, thanks to Riptide.

"There's been a change in my songwriting over time…I learnt to work with people, it's been a long process," he explained.

With influences like Paul Kelly and The Whitlams growing up, as a result of his parents' musical tastes, Joy said it was that style of music that could be quite emotive. "It has some really powerful moments...those are the songs that play your heart strings," he said. When asked if he had any of his own memorable moments throughout his career so far, there were already a few. "I've had three really memorable moments, one is playing the really big festivals; you react to the people around you, it's a special moment, the nerves and the anticipation," he explained. "You're really pushed into the moment, and there's a lot of energy."

Interestingly, the album's title came to him after hearing John Lennon's 1981 classic Watching the Wheels. With a lot tracks on the album exploring love and life, Joy said he drew on personal experience and other material like films and books when writing.

"I think it's a bit of both...there's chemistry to the song and that's the beauty of them," he said.

With a busy schedule continuing until the end of the year, Joy said he hoped to have a bit of a break over Christmas but pick up right where he left off, with just as much passion and enthusiasm.

Topics:  music vance joy

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