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Live Review: Foy Vance with Trevor Sensor at Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ – 21st September 2016

 
By on Monday, 26th September 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

As promised in my interview with him from earlier this year, Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance brought his ‘The Wild Swan’ tour to American shores last week, starting the festivities with a show at the Valley Bar in Phoenix. It was only last summer that I saw Vance in this very same venue, but it’s been an exciting year for him in the interim, including tours with Josh Groban and Elton John. On his current trek through the States, though, Vance is the headline act, and this occasion was the first time I’d seen him perform with the luxury of a full band.

Trevor

Vance’s support act on this tour is American singer/songwriter Trevor Sensor, who came from Chicago to join the tour in Phoenix. Sensor’s onstage persona, much like his singing voice, came across initially as a bit harsh, but the underlying appeal in his songwriting soon became apparent. He touched on songs from two EP releases ‘Texas Girls and Jesus Christ’ and ‘Starved Nights and Saturday Stars’, most notably his recent single ‘When Tammy Spoke to Martha’. Sensor also included in his set list a piano-based cover of Bruce Cockburn‘s ‘Pacing the Cage’, and he seemed surprised that someone in the audience recognized it, remarking sardonically, “Congratulations on knowing who that is.”

[youtube]https://youtu.be/6KWXNO33xiw[/youtube]

Sensor’s moodiness carried over into Vance’s headline set as well, but it reared its head more in the between-songs banter than the music itself. Vance hit the stage running with ‘Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution’, which as he mentioned in our interview from this summer, works best with the complement of a full band behind him. The band was indeed a welcome addition to the live performance of Vance’s new songs from ‘The Wild Swan’, and he ran through a list of them to open the show, including the smile-inducing ‘Upbeat Feelgood’ and the populist anthem ‘Ziggy Looked Me in the Eye’.

Foy

It might have been politics that dampened Vance’s mood as he started the North American leg of his tour. Though he said he was glad to be back on American soil, he did make a disparaging comment about presidential candidate Donald Trump, which fell a bit flat among an audience who might have preferred to put their political concerns aside for the evening. That statement being made, however, Vance quickly moved on to songs of a more personal tenor, seating himself at the piano for an ode to his own ‘Bangor Town’ and ‘Be Like You Belong’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Uxsf_QUYxzY[/youtube]

Focusing mainly on his latest material, Vance didn’t spend much time rehashing old favourites. ‘The Wild Swan’ tracks ‘She Burns’ and ‘Casanova’ were well-received by a crowd of mainly new fans, as was recent album single ‘Coco’, though Vance prefaced this last with a sharp tongue-lashing for music critics who might have misinterpreted its meaning. As it turned out, perhaps the strongest connection he made with his audience all evening was in the heady gospel of ‘Closed Hand, Full of Friends’, from previous album ‘Joy of Nothing’.

Altering his usual course, Vance closed the set proper with ‘Guiding Light’, leaving those of us “in the know” wondering what might be next. Not typically given to ostentatious encores, Vance left the stage only very briefly before returning for a short postlude. He ended the show on another personally significant note, with the classically poetic ‘The Wild Swans on the Lake’, changing its third verse lines to sing “a child is on the way” and pausing proudly to announce a due date. If congratulations are indeed in order, our most sincere ones are extended to Foy Vance as he completes his American tour and heads back across the pond for winter shows closer to home.

A full listing of Foy Vance’s upcoming shows can be found on his official Facebook. Vance will finish the year with live dates in Ireland and the UK in November and December, which are listed here. TGTF’s complete previous coverage of Foy Vance is back this way.

Foy Vance final internal

 

Video of the Moment #2144: Foy Vance

 
By on Thursday, 21st July 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

If you’ve been following along here at TGTF throughout July, you’ll have already read our 3-part interview with Irish troubadour Foy Vance about his latest album ‘The Wild Swan’. In part 2 of that interview, we discussed the one of the album’s lighter moments, the newly released single ‘Coco’. Vance also recently unveiled a new video for the track, which you can view at the bottom of this page.

The song ‘Coco’ was written for Coco Arquette, daughter of American actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette. Cox herself directed its accompanying video. Premiered online last week by People magazine, the video features 12-year-old Coco in a series of lovingly filmed scenes in and around her home, which are interspersed with shots of Vance himself on the road mid-tour. The People magazine article hails Coco as “all grown up!”, but Cox’s video appears to focus on the zest and vitality of her rapidly waning childhood, which Vance has said was also the a part of the inspiration for his tune.

On the surface, Vance and his muse would seem to have only their circle of celebrity fame in common, but the juxtaposition of imagery in Cox’s video conveys a sort of kindred spirit between the two. Despite the rather overly-saccharine context of pretty lighting and picturesque scenery, Cox has managed to capture an infectious sense of youthful exuberance and guileless candor not only in her daughter, but in her friend Foy Vance as well.

Foy Vance’s single ‘Coco’ and his full LP ‘The Wild Swan’ are out now on Gingerbread Man Records. Our full previous coverage of Foy Vance is collected right back here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Il1CIIdtOAE[/youtube]

 

Interview: Foy Vance (Part 3)

 
By on Thursday, 7th July 2016 at 11:00 am
 

This is part 3 of TGTF’s interview with Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance about his new album ‘The Wild Swan’. If you need to catch up, parts 1 and 2 of the interview are right back here and here.

Along with the previously mentioned ‘Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution’ and ‘Casanova’, the slow-burning track ‘Burden’ also found its way onto ‘The Wild Swan’ after the fact. And like the current single from the album, ‘Coco’, ‘Burden’ was written for someone Vance knows. “A friend of mine was going through a bit of a tough time. He’s one of those guys that carries everybody else’s burden and sort of forgets about his own. And again, I never wrote that with an intention of using it for a record or anything. [But] it felt like it had a place on there.”

Writing and publishing personal songs about friends might seem a bit of a risky avocation, but Vance was unconcerned about any possible gossip surrounding his songs. “I always write about my friends,” he confessed. “I would say a good 70% of the songs I write are for my friends or people that I know and love the most. They’re mostly funny, you know, songs that I send to friends for birthdays or Christmas. But there’s a few songs on [the new] record that are specifically written for people.” He did caution, however, that the songs shouldn’t be taken as a literal commentary on any specific situation. “You know, some of it’s written, then it becomes something else. That’s the thing about songs, they’re entities in a sense, they kind of they go on and become something else in the hands of listeners.”

Vance continued, “You know, there was other songs, like I say, ‘Noam Chomsky’ and ‘Casanova’, that weren’t planned for the record but then they found a home, and there was a couple of others that were meant to be on the record that just didn’t feel like they belonged in the end of it. You can’t really overthink these things. If your plan is too rigid, I think you miss a trick, you know, ‘cos life’s not like that.”

‘Noam Chomsky’ became a pivot point in the conversation when I asked Vance if he was including the song in the set list for his current stripped-back supporting slots. “I haven’t been actually,” he admitted. “I like to do that when I’ve got the full band together. [Otherwise] it sort of misses the guitar player. He’s got that lovely little ’50s, slightly slapback, echo-y sound. He plays this little lick and it’s hard to play that song without that, really.”

Vance has just wrapped up his tour with Elton John in Europe as well as a last-minute supporting slot for James Bay. He has scheduled a slew of summer festival dates, including a recent appearance at Glastonbury and upcoming sets at T in the Park, Latitude and the Calgary Folk Fest in Canada. But he seemed most excited about another support slot he’ll be playing in North America later this year with pop singer/songwriter Josh Groban. I was somewhat surprised to hear about that combination of artists, but Vance was optimistic. “Surprises are good,” he said. “I think it’ll be a different audience, but the thing is, you can never underestimate an audience.”

To emphasise his point, Vance related a colourful tale from his earlier days of touring, around the time of his first album ‘Hope’. “I was at this festival in Middlesborough in England, and I had been paid to do a slot in a really cool venue. It was a funny one because people weren’t sure whether they were meant to like it or not, because they hadn’t heard it on the radio yet. Everyone was standing around sort of looking at each other, you know. And when I got offstage, the promoter of the venue was in a tizz and I said ‘What’s up, man?’ He said, ‘A band have pulled out and I need to fill a 35-minute slot, but it’s in a death metal venue.’ And I said, ‘I’ll do it if you like. I’m happy to go and give it a crack.’ And I went in, and I started with ‘Back in Black’ by AC/DC on my acoustic guitar and then I did ‘Black Hole Sun’ by Soundgarden. But then I spent the rest of the time doing my own set, which at that time was quite acoustic-y, singer/songwriter-y. And it was a great gig, one of the standout gigs [for me]. They were just absolutely open [to my songs]. So you can never underestimate an audience. I like playing to different audiences, whether it be Elton John’s audience or Ed Sheeran’s audience or James Bay’s audience or Josh Groban’s audience. You know, people are people are people.”

Following the Josh Groban tour, Vance will begin his own headline tour in Australia, where he will be accompanied by Kyle Lionhart. In late September, Vance will return to the U.S. for a run of headline dates beginning at the Valley Bar in Phoenix, Arizona, where I caught him live last summer. The American tour, with support from Trevor Sensor, will continue through October, ahead of Vance’s UK and Irish dates with Ryan McMullan in November and December.

Vance paused the discussion of his upcoming tour schedule to sing McMullan’s praises for a moment. “He is absolutely great. Actually at the minute he’s getting songs together for a new album. I hear a lot of people, you know travelling as much as I do, and doing gigs, and I often enjoy what I hear, but it’s very rare these days that I get completely floored by someone. When I first saw him, I saw him in a terrible sort of set, it was like a conference room for Hoover salesmen, in an old kind of crappy hotel with a terrible PA. But the second he opened his mouth, I was just completely transcended. And it’s just so rare these days that I get that blown away by a vocalist who sings like his life depends on it. I couldn’t help but reach out and say ‘Listen, do you want to work together, do you want to come on tour?’

The second half of 2016 looks to be exciting but exhausting for Vance, with non-stop touring through the end of the year. “Yeah, it really is so busy,” he remarked. “You know, I get home for two days, and then I’m away, and then two days and then away. I’m pretty much gone until the 10th or the 11th of December. But listen, a man of my age and skill set, I’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.”

We look forward to seeing Vance “make hay” on the road later this year. In the meantime, our thanks to Robbie for coordinating this interview. TGTF’s complete previous coverage of Foy Vance is back this way.

 

Interview: Foy Vance (Part 2)

 
By on Wednesday, 6th July 2016 at 11:00 am
 

This is part 2 of TGTF’s interview with Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance about his new album ‘The Wild Swan’. If you missed part 1, you can find it right back here.

“We had plans when we went in,” said Vance of the Nashville studio sessions for ‘The Wild Swan’, “but they were constantly changing, and I think that’s the way a record should be made. You need to evolve, be [receptive] to what’s happening in the room, and not go in with a definitive plan. You can have ideas of what you think it’s going to sound like. I mean, unless you’re U2 and you can take a year and a half to make a record. Then you can make it sound exactly like you wanted it to sound in your head in the beginning.”

Vance singled out one song on ‘The Wild Swan’ as a turning point in the album’s recording process. “There’s one song in particular on that record called ‘Casanova’, which wasn’t even on the list of songs to record. We were recording another song called ‘Upbeat Feelgood’, and we played it live three or four times, and it became apparent that no one was feeling upbeat or feeling good. We were starting to get into our parts a bit too much, thinking about it too much. So I said, ‘Listen, keep the tape rolling, and we’re going to have a three or four minute departure here.’ And I started playing ‘Casanova’, which actually the bass player had never played before in his life, he didn’t even know what it was. But in that one take, you know, we got it. So that transformed that day, and it sort of transformed the record a little bit.”

As it turned out, the ‘Casanova’ departure indirectly resulted in the album’s first single. “There was another song that I had only half-written called ‘Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution’. I had one verse for that, and I thought I should finish that song off because [musically] it ties in with the ‘Casanova’ thing.” In spite of its seemingly cerebral title and subject matter, Vance described ‘Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution’ as “essentially a 12-bar rock ’n’ roll song. I think the only thing that makes it cerebral, or makes people think that it’s trying to be cerebral, is the mention of Noam Chomsky. I guess I like that juxtaposition.”

Elaborating on the inspiration for the single, Vance became a bit philosophical himself. “I love Noam Chomsky, I love listening to him. I remember reading these interviews with him, and he’s so articulate and brave. But there’s something about listening to him, ‘cos he has that soft [tone], he sounds like your granddad saying ‘Would you like a cup of tea, son?’ Yet he’s telling you these devastating sort of truths, you know, about how he sees the political structure, the corporations and terrorism and all kinds of stuff, but it’s all so softly spoken and gentle. He’s quite an anomaly. He puts me in mind of all those other people who I feel were revolutionaries in their own right, who saw the status quo, saw the way things were and thought ‘No, I’m not going to have it like that, I’m going to say it how it is and how I see it.’ Take any one of those people named in [the song], you know, there’s Willie Nelson or Muhammad Ali or Dostoevsky, all of these people spoke from their hearts. I guess that’s what that song’s about. And ‘Noam Chomsky’ is just a beautiful thing to say.”

The next single to be taken from ‘The Wild Swan’ is another one with a melodious name in its title, the sweet-tempered ballad ‘Coco’. The song was inspired by the young daughter of American actress Courteney Cox, who is romantically involved with Vance’s friend and Snow Patrol keyboard player Johnny McDaid. I suggested that it might be considered questionable for a man of Vance’s age to be writing songs about such a young child, and he bristled a bit, perhaps because his own daughter is near the same age as the eponymous Coco. “I guess being a daddy myself, you know, I’ve written lots of those songs. I’m a big fan of Paul Simon, who is the master of sweet and innocent. I love his writing, absolutely love his writing. That song about Coco, she’s just such a sort of enigmatic wee girl, you know, just full of the joys of spring and full of the mayhem you would imagine of a 12-year-old kid, or 11 she was at the time. I wrote that for her just messing around one day. We were on holiday and my daughter was with us, and they were hanging out, and I picked up the guitar and was just singing silly songs, and I started singing that to her. And then the second I got to the end of it, I thought, ‘That could actually be a song’, so I wrote it.”

Despite what people outside his social circle might think, Vance had absolutely no reservations about including ‘Coco’ on ‘The Wild Swan’. “There was a guy, a critic here in the UK, who took it like it was a chat-up line, and I was thinking, ‘I don’t know where you come from, mate, but where I come from, that’s not the done thing.’ I know in an age of this media mayhem that we live amongst now, they’d like to portray all that kind of nonsense, but at the core, it’s an innocent song.”

‘Coco’, the latest single from Foy Vance’s album ‘The Wild Swan’, is due for release this Friday, the 8th of July, on Gingerbread Man Records. Vance recently performed ‘Coco’ in live session for The Telegraph, which you can view here. Tune in to TGTF tomorrow for the conclusion of this interview.

 

Interview: Foy Vance (Part 1)

 
By on Tuesday, 5th July 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Up to this point, 2016 has been a busy year for Foy Vance, and the Northern Irish singer/songwriter doesn’t show any signs of slowing his hectic pace as he swings into the year’s second half. Vance released a new album, ‘The Wild Swan’, back in May, after signing with his friend and colleague Ed Sheeran‘s Gingerbread Man Records. Following the album release and a sold out, one-off show at London’s Hoxton Hall on the 12th of May, Vance played a string of support dates in the UK for legendary pop superstar Elton John. We at TGTF caught up with Vance for a quick chat about ‘The Wild Swan’ during that run of dates, just before his pre-show soundcheck at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Vance was affable and relaxed on the afternoon of our interview, despite the impending soundcheck and the grand scale of the evening’s show. The novelty of the occasion might have worn off for Vance, as he spent the early part of this year touring with John in Australia. Still, he clearly relished the moment as he related that initial experience to me. “Do you know what, Carrie, embarrassingly, that is the first time I had ever heard Elton John live, when I was supporting him [in Australia]. He was an absolute revelation. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen him live, but if you get a chance to, make sure you don’t miss out, because he’s phenomenal. The thing that just hits me, and I think hits everyone that goes to see him, is just how many great songs he plays, just song after song, and you end up thinking, ‘Wow, he wrote that’. It’s a great show, very inspiring.”

It’s perhaps well-known by now that Vance’s connection with Elton John was formed via their mutual friendship with pop phenom Sheeran. “Ed had played him [John] some of my songs, and he liked them. And then I went to his house for dinner one night in L.A., me and Ed and Elton, and he said, ‘Why don’t you come on tour with me? And I said, ‘Let me check my diary.’”

Vance, of course, accepted the offer, and later gave John the ambiguous title of Executive Producer in the album credits for ‘The Wild Swan’. “He was a sounding board for me,” Vance explains. “That was a tip of that to him, for taking me on tour, being there when I was writing new stuff or [when] I’d pull out older songs that I was thinking about. It wasn’t even so much that he would lead the charge on that album. I always feel like the buck stops with me, no matter how many opinions I get. I always have to make the last decision. I think that’s the way it should be. If you’re making art, you need to be a bit of a fascist about it, you know. But it was great to have someone like him to bounce these songs off, and get feedback from someone that’s a wee bit of a musicologist. Because Elton listens to so much music, he’s got a lot to say about it.”

After the Australian tour, Vance travelled to America to record ‘The Wild Swan’ at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios, with acclaimed producer and sound engineer Jacquire King at the helm. King has worked with a number of well-known artists in recent memory, including James Bay and Kings of Leon, but Vance cited a different influence for the collaboration. “You know, the reason I wanted to work with Jacquire was not actually for the records that he’d be most known for, Kings of Leon or James Bay, it’s not those albums that really drew me to him, to be honest with you. It was a couple of records that he did with Tom Waits, one in particular called the ‘Mule Variations’. Not only is the album exquisite, you know, from a songwriting point of view, and from a performance point of view, musicianship and all that, but [I found] the sonic identity, the sonic quality of it so inspiring. So I’ve known of Jacquire for a long time because of that record, and when I went to meet him, we had a good chat about the kind of sound that I would want, more to those type records than the sort of newer stuff he’s doing. And he got it, you know, he got where I was coming from and I think he did a great job of capturing what we did.”

Vance deliberately took an unstructured and spontaneous approach to the actual recording of the album at King’s Blackbird Studios. “I guess I prefer an approach that’s a bit more like a collaboration with the space. As soon as you went into that room, it started to sound a certain way, so we started to play a certain way. You play to the space, and I played the songs that felt right.”

Head back to TGTF tomorrow for part 2 of my interview with Foy Vance about his new album ‘The Wild Swan’, including his thoughts on the next single from the album, ‘Coco’. In the interim, you can gain more insight on the making of the album in Vance’s new video ‘Finding the Wild Swan (Part 1)’ below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/ES7RcpIHJ4k[/youtube]

 

Album Review: Foy Vance – The Wild Swan

 
By on Friday, 13th May 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Sarah Barlow and Stephen Schofield

Foy Vance Wild Swan coverFor those unfamiliar with the music of Foy Vance, it might seem slightly odd that a singer/songwriter from Northern Ireland would write songs so fully informed by Americana, gospel and blues. But longtime fans will already know that Vance spent much of his youth in the Southern United States as the son of a traveling pastor. These are the folks who will be less surprised to hear the predominant gospel choruses and blues guitar riffs on Vance’s new album ‘The Wild Swan’. Recorded in Nashville with production by Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, James Bay), the songs on ‘The Wild Swan’ never stray far from Vance’s established musical roots, though they do, in the end, give a nod to his Northern Irish heritage as well.

Thematically, the album is a pastiche of topics that must weigh on Vance’s mind from time to time, including societal revolution, introspective self-examination, romantic passion, and friendship. On the topic of social progress, Vance opens the album with catchy early single ‘Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution’. The title refers to the famed American linguist and philosopher as well as tossing in a laundry list of other pop culture and literary references. Lyrically, this reads a bit like a new millennium version of Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’. But the bluesy guitar and the uptempo, off-kilter rhythms put any further Billy Joel comparisons quickly to rest.

The song’s theme of social revolution is mirrored later in the album’s tracklisting by another previously-released track, ‘Ziggy Looked Me in the Eye’. Vance delivers the latter song’s chorus “we’re the children of a revolution / Ziggy looked me in the eye and said a revolution / never let the spirit die, revolution” with the gospel-laced passion of a preacher in the pulpit, but the subtle and thought-provoking lyrics in the bridge section, “you’ll see that all the leaves are falling / and there’s no moisture in the tree / so let’s just light a fire underneath”, make a more dramatic impact.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/y-wQCPEmtT8[/youtube]

Second track ‘Upbeat Feelgood’ is the simplest and most lighthearted song on the album. But it’s also the one that makes the most lasting impression, its chorus echoing back in your mind hours after listening. The tone is mellow but rhythmically infectious, and the song’s carefree bounce is sure to put a smile on even the most dour puss as Vance impulsively invites, “come and sit down by my side / darling look me in the eye / well, if you want to ask me, now’s the time / my head’s not heavy and my heart is right”.

On a more acutely personal note, Foy Vance explores the topic of friendship several times over the course of ‘The Wild Swan’. Touching on it from an unusual perspective is an ode to his friend Courteney Cox’s daughter, titled simply ‘Coco’. While the teenaged daughter of a friend might seem like a questionable muse for a man of Vance’s age, ’Coco’ is a very deliberately artless celebration of child-like innocence and inquisitiveness. It has a sweet James Taylor sort of vibe about it, with a sweetly bemused chorus leading into an unexpected harmonic modulation under the lines “but you know every girl is someone’s daughter / and your daddy must be proud / I’d be proud if you were mine”.

Recent single ‘Burden’ is musically smouldering and sensual from its very first notes, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that its lyrics are focused not on romance but on friendship in times of trouble. Its chorus fairly swells with heartfelt reassurance. But Vance saves some of his best lyrics, and probably his most useful advice, for the second verse: “let me carry your burden / when your mouth’s on fire but your mind is cold / and you’re finding flames that won’t keep you warm”.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/VKyfcCCut9I[/youtube]

Moving into the realm of romantic love, Vance regales us with a quick-tempo country rock number called ‘Casanova’. It attempts to make light of a lovers’ quarrel. Another slow-burning track is aptly titled ‘She Burns’. In ‘She Burns’, Vance delves into the elusive idea of the feminine mystique, starting with a simple guitar rhythm and opening with the enigmatic lines “she is a little explosion of hope / never turns the lights down low / she can go there if you wanna, though”. Subtly propulsive drums and bass kick in under the second verse, intensifying the very physical sensuality of the song in a way that brought to mind Vance’s cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’ from a live show in Phoenix last summer.

On a more contemplative note, Foy Vance waxes poetic in the heavily gospel-flavoured ‘Bangor Town’, a hymn dedicated to Vance’s Northern Irish home. While his sentiment here is admirable, the structure of the song itself is a bit ambiguous, as if perhaps Vance lost his focus somewhere in middle of his reverie. ‘Be Like You Belong’ is another rather ponderous spiritual number, this one passing along nuggets of rather pastoral wisdom such as “well, there is only now and the future / there’s a truth you don’t hear much, now do ya?” The backing chorus resorts to simple “aahhs” both here and in ‘Unlike Any Other’, though the latter has singalong potential for future live performance.

The album’s final two tracks, ‘Fire It Up (The Silver Spear)’ and ‘The Wild Swans on the Lake’ have a more traditionally Irish folk feel, which is somehow unexpected coming from Foy Vance, though perhaps it shouldn’t be. ‘Fire It Up’ centers around a march-like percussion rhythm that somehow evolves into a dance near the song’s ending, where the instrumentation expands to include what sounded to me like bagpipes. Even more traditional in nature, ’The Wild Swans on the Lake’ features a slow and stately harmonic rhythm with wind instruments and barely-there backing vocals creating the visual image of gauzy fog. Presumably inspired by W.B. Yeats’ famous poem ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’, Vance displays his own poetic gifts in delicate and timeless verse lyrics such as “with a crown of daisies on your scented hair, as a bride thee I shall take”.

Though ‘The Wild Swan’ contains more than its fair share of these captivating moments, overall, it lacks a cohesive sense of purpose or direction. This, again, is one of Foy Vance’s peculiar idiosyncrasies and probably came as no surprise to those familiar with his earlier music. I must admit that I expected a bit more polish and refinement on this album, perhaps due to its association with Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records and Grammy-winning producer Jacquire King. But above all else, Vance remains true to himself on this album, and his brand of authenticity is always well-received.

7.5/10

Foy Vance’s ‘The Wild Swan’ is out today on Gingerbread Man Records. Vance will play live dates in the UK and Ireland in support of the album this November and December; you can find all the details here. TGTF’s full collection of coverage on Foy Vance is right here.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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