Vance Joy rid­ing the riptide to Amer­i­can record label

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

RIS­ING star Vance Joy (pic­tured) dreams of writ­ing a a clas­sic but he’s happy turn­ing out de­cent songs along the way. De­cent is a hefty un­der­state­ment, with the tal­ented Melbourne singer-song­writer snar­ing a con­tract that could see him pro­duce up to five al­bums with Amer­i­can mu­sic label At­lantic Records. ‘‘The aim is to write a clas­sic song that lives on,’’ he says. ‘‘That’s the big dream. I’m happy with the songs in be­tween as well, a diet of de­cent songs.’’ Cur­rently open­ing shows on Bernard Fan­ning’s national tour, Joy plays Splen­dour in the Grass on Satur­day be­fore tak­ing his own Riptide show across Aus­tralia. ‘‘I’m just by my­self with my gui­tar and my uke (at Fan­ning’s show) so that’s kind of pretty low key,’’ he says. Joy, 25, whose real name is James Keogh, re­cently recorded some tracks in Seat­tle that may land on his first al­bum, which he hopes will come to­gether early in 2014. He worked with Ryan Had­lock, who has pro­duced al­bums for Amer­i­can rock­ers The Lu­m­i­neers and Johnny Flynn & The Sus­sex Wit, an English folk-rock band Joy ad­mires. ‘‘He re­ally tries to cap­ture the vibe of a per­for­mance,’’ Joy says of Had­lock. ‘‘The sound is ac­tu­ally quite raw and un­pro­duced.’’ Joy went into a mu­sic shop in 2007 and bought a ‘‘crap’’ ukulele and up­graded a few days be­fore record­ing Riptide, which has fea­tured in the iTunes top 50 sin­gles chart and ex­ceeded 500,000 views on YouTube. ‘‘The rea­son I picked one (a ukulele) up in the first place is that it was just a nov­elty and I thought it was cool. You play chords in dif­fer­ent shapes you’re not used to and you kind of break out of your own . . . restric­tive pro­cesses. It’s a cool, creative spark.’’ Joy says there is one line in Riptide that refers to a real per­son who sings the wrong words in songs but the rest is a col­lage of ideas and words. The partly au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal From Afar is the other sin­gle from Joy’s EP, God Loves You When You’re Danc­ing. ‘‘I feel like that’s one of my favourite songs,’’ he says. ‘‘Ev­ery­one has some kind of ex­pe­ri­ence where they’re on the out­side of love or look­ing at it from a dis­tance.’’

Vance Joy plays Splen­dour in the Grass on Satur­day and The Zoo, in Bris­bane, on Au­gust 31.

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