Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Vance Joy - God Loves You When You're Dancing EP

Hello People.

William Wu here. You know, that photo guy that takes the photos. Now normally I try to avoid writing at all costs, especially creative and descriptive writing because as a photographer I am much more of a visual creator rather than a literary expressionist. However, I will attempt to give this a try because what’s life worth in the comfort zone (rhetorical question – don’t answer that)?

And with that in mind I give you Vance Joy’s EP – God Loves You When You’re Dancing. Vance Joy, an emerging artist from Melbourne, blends together folk and beautiful harmonies to create this masterpiece of musical genius. If you’re a fan of ukuleles, acoustic guitars, airy, what-I-believe-to-be tenor vocals, and soul-soothing slow BPM’s then this might just be for you. But before I delve into the music and give you a quick, on-the-run review, I’ll just get the formalities out of the way first.

Artist: Vance Joy
EP Name: God loves you when you’re dancing
Release Year: 2013
Tracks: 5 - "Emmylou", "Riptide", "Playing with fire", "Snaggletooth" and "From Afar"

On being given that EP name, I envisioned upbeat shire music. However, as someone who had not previously heard of Vance Joy, I was (happily) surprised when a strong male voice began to sing, accompanied by a melodic acoustic guitar. And finally I realised that the EP name was truly fitting – God loves you when you’re (slow) dancing. Now, I understand that the word ‘slow’ has some negative associations with it but rest assured that I mean it in the best possible way here.

The first track on the EP, ‘Emmylou’ is much like a novel: best enjoyed in a quiet room on your own. This smooth, emotional song from Vance Joy is a great example of why Australian music is awesome. As previously mentioned, the track begins with a simple vox/guitar combination, and about midway the layers build up, giving the listener a shiver down the spine. ‘Riptide’ is the next song, and it contrasts quite well with ‘Emmylou’. Instead of the gradual increase of instruments, we are given an up tempo ukulele to bring us straight into the song. Definitely more of a folk-ey song rather than anything else. 'Playing with fire' kind of reminds me of "Santa fe" by Beirut, and the final two tracks "Snaggletooth" and "From afar" create a powerful and dramatic finish to the EP.

Now, it's quite hard to describe the EP without giving away every song, blow by blow. But drawing on my visual nature, this is how I would make a film based on this entity: We begin with a slow, sombre opening of a man who is in a depression. From there, we see the uplifting story of a man finding love, enjoying life, and then realising that the love he has will never be reciprocated but finds closure none-the-less. Yes, that is how I'd make the movie. And I'd enjoy that movie, because it would be a movie based on this EP, and this EP tells a great story, and sounds great, and has a weight that many modern artists can not produce.

I think that if you like folk-ish music with a great vocalist, and subdued melodies, this is the album for you.  If you want to have a preview of the EP before you buy it, Vance Joy has kindly uploaded all the tracks to Soundcloud. You can listen to it over and over again. And then some. Trust me, I've listened to this EP 5 times in the last 2 days, and I can assure you that I enjoyed every moment of it.

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