Northern Irish singer/songwriter Foy Vance lives and breathes country and blues that at times sounds like “Steve Earle meets Mumford & Sons” while also remaining wholeheartedly his own. His third album ‘The Wild Swan’ is the first to be released since signing to Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records near the end of 2015 after working with him previously on tour and in the studio. So what does ‘The Wild Swan’ have to offer?
Well, opening with a song referencing a revered scholar in relation to various other musical and political influences is certainly different. ‘Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution’ kicks off the album with some energetic grooving blues rock that almost stands alone in this style as the more Country-oriented sound takes over with ‘Upbeat Feelgood’. Helpfully, this song is summed up in its title so I needn’t say more other than the acoustic lead flourishes are truly fantastic.
I personally prefer the more upbeat vibes than the sensitive and emotive ones, of which there are proportionately more.
The country blues vibe sustains throughout the slower and intimate moments such as ‘Coco’, and the more “clap your hands and dance” motive of ‘Casanova’. In either case, Vance’s soulful voice carries these songs and helps them fly in harmony with some beautiful instrumentation. ‘She Burns’ is a personal favourite because of this fact. Once the strings start getting involved it is a very powerful combination. It is through the fiddle at the end of ‘Fire It Up (The Silver Spear)’ that we finally get a taste of the Celtic folk heritage of Vance. This then transitions perfectly into the slow and beautiful close to the album with ‘The Wild Swans On The Lake’.
I personally prefer the more upbeat vibes than the sensitive and emotive ones, of which there are proportionately more. Vance’s voice is consistently powerful throughout and it suits both of his styles that produce different but successful results.
By Will Hunt
Delightfully strong vocal
‘Upbeat Feelgood’ and ‘Casanova’ are favourites
Nice mixture of blues and country
Watch the video for ‘She Burns’ below:
Watch Foy Vance talk about the album “track by track” below:
|1. Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution|
|2. Upbeat Feelgood|
|5. Bangor Town|
|7. She Burns|
|8. Be Like You Belong|
|9. Unlike Any Other|
|10. Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye|
|11. Fire It Up (The Silver Spear)|
|12. The Wild Swans On The Lake|