The Wild Swan Foy Vance
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- 1Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution02:28
- 2Upbeat Feelgood03:24
- 5Bangor Town04:27
- 7She Burns03:50
- 8Be Like You Belong04:48
- 9Unlike Any Other04:15
- 10Ziggy Looked Me In The Eye04:02
- 11Fire It Up (The Silver Spear)04:06
- 12The Wild Swans On The Lake03:08
Info for The Wild Swan
Foy Vance knows how to write a song. It’s a naturally-born but dedicatedly-finessed skill that has led him to collaborate with artists as diverse as Plan B, Sheryl Crow and Rudimental, synced his music on multiple TV shows ranging from Grey’s Anatomy to the finale of Sons Of Anarchy, and caught the ears of some of the biggest players (in every sense) in music, from Elton John to Ed Sheeran.
So it is that in the run-up to the release of his new album, Vance travelled to Nashville. It’s a long way from home for the Irishman, both from the place of his birth (Bangor, Northern Ireland) and the place of his residence (Aberfeldy, Scotland). But for an inveterate songwriter, Music City is an irresistible draw, a place where Vance can work with the best of the best. Not, Vance clarifies, for himself or his own material. For one thing, he’s already completed his new album, and with songs of the calibre and single-minded brilliance of the dozen that comprise The Wild Swan, there’s no need for any outside assistance.
But for another, “I’m not snobby about it, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing with other people for myself. That feels like it’s my own private joy,” adds a man who crafted The Wild Swan entirely to his own vision, in Nashville’s Blackbird Studios, aided by Jacquire King, who recorded and mixed one of his favourite albums, Tom Waits’ Mule Variations.
“And I used to steer clear of writing with other people altogether until I started doing it just by chance. And then I realised that even when it goes s**t, it’s still a learning curve,” Vance notes with a smile. “Every wrong path is a way to the right path. I keep it pretty lean. But when good people come up, I give it a go.”
One of those good people is Sheeran. Vance co-wrote “Tenerife Sea” and “Afire Love” from 2014’s multi-million-selling X, and he wrote “Make It Rain”, which Sheeran sang over the final episode of cult biker drama Sons Of Anarchy. “Ed’s like a wee song machine,” Vance notes approvingly. “He would always go places lyrically that I wouldn’t go myself, so he makes me think about the lyrical choices I make. Working with Ed made me a better writer.”
Now, with the impassioned, rootsy, rousing The Wild Swan – an album that makes nods to, and takes cues from, proper heroes ranging from Noam Chomsky to Ziggy Stardust to WB Yeats – the pair’s relationship moves to another level. Sheeran has signed Vance to Gingerbread Man Records, the label he launched in 2015 with Jamie Lawson and his self-titled, chart-topping debut album.
But in fact, Vance and Sheeran’s relationship goes back way further than that. “Ed’s dad used to bring him to my gigs when he was 13,” begins Vance, a born hobo-raconteur (and he has the storyteller’s hat and showman's moustache to prove it). “He only told me this after we’d done a couple of gigs together, but he’d been to something like 48 gigs of mine before we’d ever met.”
As an up-and-coming artist always keen to honour his formative influences, as soon as he started to have some success, Sheeran sought to pay it back.
“He reached out and said, ‘do you want to come on tour with me?’ And I’m thinking: 'When else is a thirty-something, white, baldy Irishman single father who lives up in the mountains gonna get to on a bona fide pop tour?’ So I said, ‘yeah, I’ll go and do it.’ …
is a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter hailing from Bangor, Northern Island and deeply rooted in the rich musical history and aesthetic of the Southern United States. Traveling through America for much of his youth, Foy eventually settled down in Ireland where he worked to put out his debut album Hope in 2007. Gathering the acclaim of both fans and fellow musicians, Foy was invited to tour worldwide with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John. Foy’s second full-length album, Joy of Nothing, debuted in 2013 on Glassnote Records and was followed up by Foy’s first live recording, Live at Bangor Abbey, recorded in Foy’s hometown.
In late 2015 Foy became only the second artist signing to Gingerbread Man Records, a division of Atlantic Records started by Ed Sheeran. Recording for his Gingerbread Man debut The Wild Swan took place at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tenn. with GRAMMY-winning producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, James Bay, Kings of Leon, Of Monsters and Men). Recording legend Elton John is the album’s Executive Producer, and Foy will support Elton on the UK & European legs of his Wonderful Crazy tour this summer. The Wild Swan is available now.
This album contains no booklet.