Foy Vance – The Wild Swan
Since the release of Joy of Nothing in 2013, Foy Vance has not added anything new to his opus. The Wild Swan signals the end of this period of silence and is well worth the three-year wait. It is a poignant album that shows a maturing on the part of the folk singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland, while retaining the sense of individuality that set him apart from the other folk/rock albums of a few years ago.
The first song is a bit misleading as an introduction to the album. Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution has a toe-tapping beat to it as it adopts many of the conventions of traditional rock and roll. Its lyrics are precise and clever, as Foy Vance details revolutionary philosophical thinkers, and accompanied by a catchy guitar riff that would not be out of place on a Chuck Berry record. Coco and Upbeat Feelgood, the second and third tracks respectively, continue this fast-paced start.
The bright opening is almost disregarded as slower songs such as Burden and Be Like You Belong emerge. Importantly though, they do not stray the wrong side of broody and ensure that attention is paid throughout. The continual slowness of the remainder of the album could be a dangerous move as, without enough differentiation, these numbers could easily blur into a forgetful mass. However, the compelling vocals, coupled with the noticeable distinctions between the tracks, make for a powerful listening experience that delights and affects in equal measure.
She Burns is undoubtedly the highlight of the whole album. It demonstrates the maturing of Vance as he puts down his acoustic guitar, something that was almost becoming ubiquitous with his music, and shows that he can align himself with more modern music stylings while maintaining his own. The song beautifully describes a relationship and the inevitable pain that comes with immense feelings of love.
With Foy Vance supporting Elton John on selected dates of his 2016 European tour, it is clear that he is beginning to be more and more respected in today’s music industry and The Wild Swan shows how richly deserved this reputation is.
The Wild Swan is released on 13th May 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for She Burns here: