Foy Vance – The Wild Swan
Americana | Folk
In the lead up to The Wild Swan there were two warring thoughts in my head: the first being how could it possibly live up to 2013’s Joy of Nothing, and the other being that Foy Vance could never let me down. Faith and optimism have won through and the prize is one simply stunning album. His third album delves into a thus far untapped side to his music with songs such as ‘Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution’ and ‘Casanova’ exploring old school rock’n’roll and ‘Upbeat Feelgood’ being just as infectious as it’s name suggests. The expanded backing band, greater use of backing vocals and Nashville production have given this album more of an Americana vibe compared to Joy of Nothing‘s orchestral arrangements. There are certainly a few hints of Springsteen and CCR in the more up-tempo offerings.
The softer side of Swan is pure Vance though, with the touching ‘Burden’ and ‘She Burns’ and the powerful ‘Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye’ providing the best platforms for his incredible voice as well as featuring some of the best songwriting of his career thus far. Even these outstanding tracks however are overshadowed by album highlight ‘Bangor Town’ which will surely have stolen your heart by the time you get to the line “our minds are tethered but our hearts are wild”. Sure, Joy of Nothing will always be something special, and I’m still awaiting a studio version of live favourite ‘Like An Animal’, but I could wax lyrical all day about what an exquisite album this is. It’s exactly what you’d expect from one of the best artists around and I hope it brings him the recognition he so richly deserves.