James Gabriel Keogh, singer and songwriter of Vance Joy, is at it again with the release of his new album Nation of Two. I’m sure most of us have heard the hit single of the album Lay It On Me, but the rest of the tunes on here are just as catchy as this hit. The album was just recently released at the end of February.
This album is packed full of great tunes, my favorites include Call If You Need Me, Saturday Sun and Like Gold. However, the album isn’t just based off these three songs, the whole thing is a great follow up of his first album Dream Your Life Away.
This album resembles the first with its acoustic sound and relaxing vibes. If you haven’t listened to his first album, both are great for relaxing and enjoying a cup of coffee in the afternoon. I’d say any one of his songs would make fantastic additions to any acoustic playlist.
Although this album has the same feel as the first, there are still qualities that distinguish the two. For one, his early released hit Lay It On Me gave a whole new impression of Vance Joy. It still had his heart, but it was more upbeat and lively with the help of adding some brass to the piece. Aside from this song, I feel like the strength of the album is different. In his first album I felt that it was gentle, reflecting his shyness towards his work and “making it” as a musician, but in this album I feel confidence, as if he is more assured of his work.
These qualities give the album its own uniqueness from the first, however the apples don’t fall too far from the tree. The songs I highlighted as my favorites off the album reflect more similarities to his first album.
Call If You Need Me starts off the album with calm, finger-picked rhythms. It starts the album off soft before you hit the big explosion of Lay It On Me in the second track. It is a gentle tune with heart filled lyrics and light rhythms.
Saturday Sun reminds me a lot of his hit Riptide off the first album. It’s a nice, bouncy tune played on the ukulele. I’ve found this song to be the catchiest off the album by the way it’s constantly stuck in my head, thought I’m not complaining. It’s an upbeat, happy tune that I think would make a great addition to your summer playlist.
Like Gold is my second favorite behind Saturday Sun. It’s acoustics and rhythms are very relaxing to me, plus I really enjoy the chorus. I am a lyric fanatic and I enjoy listening to the lyrics of songs and learning the message of the piece. The tune is about letting go, and for me, I find it to be satisfying to listen to songs like this when going through a similar situation to what the songwriter is expressing. I find the song to be very emotional and I think it has a nice meaning.
The album is only a month old and is already growing in popularity. If you haven’t listened to it already, I highly suggest you check it out. And a little heads up for the fans, he is touring this summer. He will be in Boston June 15!