Vance Joy delivers fall soundtrack with “Dream Your Life Away”

Vance+Joy+delivers+fall+soundtrack+with+%22Dream+Your+Life+Away%22

Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Patrick Kernan, Opinion Editor

 

From the minute I heard the single “Riptide,” I knew that Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy was going to be something special. With the release of his debut album “Dream Your Life Away,” he proved my predictions of greatness correct.

Although ostensibly a folk-rock musician, Vance Joy doesn’t shy away from experimenting with different sounds, drawing from artists like Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan, and even such outliers as REM, Oasis, and Sigur Rós.

But even with the smattering of sounds, Vance Joy manages to make the album sound like a single, cohesive unit, as opposed to a collection of singles. The album almost begins to feel like the soundtrack to a film, with its shifts in sounds and emotions.

The musicianship on this album is absolutely amazing. It’s the kind of album that makes me want to listen to it multiple times on end, paying attention to a different instrument each time. I often got lost in a song, just paying attention to the groovy bass lines or Joy’s warbling vocals.

For the most part, “Dream Your Life Away” has a very logical pace. It starts very suddenly with the song “Winds of Change,” a short song that quickly sends you into the album.

 

The final song, “My Kind of Man,” ends almost as quickly, leaving the listeners to think about what they have just heard.

In between these two songs, almost every album feels totally necessary, with high points including the folk-pop “Riptide,” the Dylanesque “From Afar,” and the truly gorgeous “Red Eye.” The last of those songs was actually so good that I wanted to stop my first play-through of the album to just hear it again.

About halfway through the album, though, the pace begins to falter a bit. With tracks seven and eight, “We All Die Trying to Get It Right” and “Georgia,” I felt as though I had already heard everything the songs had to offer before they were halfway done.

“Georgia” in particular suffers from a rather strange bridge that just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the song. However, after these two songs, Vance Joy gets back on track, as he segues into the best track on the album, “Red Eye.”

Overall, this album is incredibly good, despite its occasional stumbles. I highly recommend you pick it up if you’re looking for a soft-spoken, pretty soundtrack for fall. I give Vance Joy’s “Dream Your Life Away” a 4 out of 5.