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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Jun 28th, 2016

Foy Vance: The Wild Swan

foyFoy Vance
The Wild Swan
(Gingerbread Man Records)

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Foy Vance is the kind of artist who ends his gigs with his fans singing for 10 minutes after he’s left the stage, even if they didn’t know the lyrics before walking through the door. The masterful Northern Irish singer/songwriter has found a home at Ed Sheeran’s record label and has been opening for major acts like Sheeran, Josh Groban, and even Elton John. If you’re not familiar with his husky, blue-eyed soul bellow, you ought to acquaint yourself immediately.

Let me get my minor complaint about The Wild Swan out of the way first. There are a few songs on here that I want to skip every time they come on. They’re just too mellow or dispassionate. For instance, knowing that “Coco” is about Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s daughter makes it a strange listen. Why speculate about whether her father is proud? It seems more like a song to share at a party than put on a record. A couple others lack in energy, though I’m sure that live, Vance can turn on the charm to make them into winners. The good news is that the captivating songs far outweigh the throwaways. “Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution” is a bit of fun, old-style rock, complete with horns. “Bangor Town,” an ode to Vance’s hometown, is a piano-driven, delicate ode with beautiful writing like, “Our minds are tethered, but our hearts are wild in Bangor town.” “Burden” is a barefaced ode to brotherly love, while “Fire It Up  (The Silver Spear)” relishes in a folk vibe, complete with military drumbeat. “She Burns” shows off Foy’s writing at its best, comparing a woman to “a little explosion of hope” and “petrol-soaked paper and fireworks.” This, combined with his soulful voice, is what makes him an artist who deserves to have success far beyond what he’s already accomplished.

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Foy Vance: The Wild Swan