Review: Foy Vance – Joy Of Nothing



Now Foy Vance has creating music for decades, therefore it’s only natural to eagerly anticipate a new release that would make the seven year wait since Hope worthwhile. Born in Northern Ireland, Foy Vance puts together music with overwhelming elements of soul, blues and undertones of jazz which cascades through generations; Joy Of Nothing reiterates this along with lashings of optimism and a proficient blend of traditional and modern folk music.

If this were a one word review, an accurate summary of the album would have to be ‘uplifting’. This infinite sense of elevation is most apparent in the title track Joy Of Nothing which is up there as one of the most encouraging releases of the past few years. All too often passion in music automatically becomes synonymous with tales of heartbreak, it is possible to sing passionately about joy, as the world is certainly not wrapped up in an impenetrable cloud of doom and gloom.  With that said, Foy Vance has taken an uncomplicated approach in drawing out the significance of ordinary aspects of life.

This uncomplicated approach is applied musically to various aspects of the album. Nothing is overworked, there isn’t a sense of over production and vocals are kept to the standard of a live set. Instrumentally, there isn’t anything which appears to be out of place in the album or unexpected from Foy Vance. There are occasions such as Vance’s duet with Bonnie Rait You And I and It Was Good where things seem to get a little ‘country’; this is something that hadn’t been fully explored to its maximum potential in his previous releases but is skillfully mastered in this album.

Foy Vance is essentially a soul artist at heart and when you construct music which is not derived from a state of wanting to please but formulated out of a willingness to develop a stronger and deeper personal connection with your craft. Feel for Me is filled with heaps of warmth and were it written a couple of decades in advance it would have no problem with being integrated with mid-century soul music. All in all, Joy Of Nothing is a stunning success overflowing with exceptional talent, it illustrates Vance’s confidence as an artist and sets the foundations of what is about to be an amazing year for Foy Vance.

Simi Abidakun