"Hope" by Foy Vance!
June 28, 2007
Every once in a while an artist emerges to shake you from your seat and touch your soul, singing as if it were the last time he would ever perform, savouring every moment. With a distinctive, cracked, soulful voice and a skill to write profound storytelling songs, Foy Vance belongs to a calibre of artists that stand the test of time, irrespective of trends or fads, delivering heartfelt songs about the human condition that everyone can relate to.
Foy Vance arrived into the public consciousness in the summer of '05 with the release of his widely acclaimed debut EP 'Live Sessions and the Birth Of The Toilet Tour'. A series of gigs that saw him support such diverse artists as KT Tunstall, Pete Townshend, Joss Stone, The Spinto Band, Tegan & Sara and Taj Mahal, led to two sell out nights at Ronnie Scott's, and these confirmed Foy's status as an outstanding emerging talent.
These shows amassed a dedicated fanbase and gained the Bangor born Foy support and admiration from his peers, including nine times Grammy Award winning Bonnie Raitt, who invited him to support her as "special guest" on her 21 date UK/European tour in April '06
"One of the most soulful and powerful singers and writers I've heard in a long while" - Bonnie Raitt
An overwhelming response from US and Canadian audiences, due to the airing of two of Foy's songs ("Homebird" and "Gabriel And The Vagabond") on the cult networked TV drama series Grey's Anatomy and a showcase at SXSW, led to a huge demand for the release of "Gabriel And The Vagabond" in the US, and the inclusion of "Homebird" on the Grey's Anatomy 2 Original Soundtrack album.
Having spent the better part of this year so far holed up at a remote cottage on The Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland recording, Foy is back with a new single, "Be With Me" followed by his long awaited debut album, "Hope" on July 2nd.
A close listen of "Hope" demonstrates that Foy is a truly unique talent belonging to a calibre of artists that stand the test of time. The recording process has been very organic and spontaneous capturing the live element and the rawness of Foy’s performance.
Musically it flows like a live session and it brings out Foy’s soul, blues, gospel and jazz influences soaked up while growing up in Oklahoma but also from spending time in Alabama and New Orleans with his preacher father who played an intrinsic part in the way Foy observes the world. Lyrically, Foy has an amazing talent for telling great stories in a song, as is so poignantly demonstrated in "Indiscriminate Act of Kindness" and "Gabriel and the Vagabond". The album has many highlights including the southern-fried funk of album opener "Be with Me", the Led Zeppelin meets Donna Summer groove of "Hope, Peace & Love" and the rhythm & blues of "Shed a little light". Heartfelt songs such as "Treading Water", "I Was Made" and "First of July" complete an eclectic package of beautifully crafted songs, which as Foy puts it, "I see this album as small ornaments and trinkets that form the mantelpiece".
"Hope" is a theme that defines Foy’s life and which is present throughout the album, whether in a positive or a negative way. "I named the album Hope because that’s something that’s been hereditary for me. It came from my dad who was eternally hopeful and every song on the album has an element or is some sort of study of hope".
The album was written, performed, recorded, produced and mixed by Foy himself. Tchad Blake who is best known for his work with Pearl Jam, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello has also contributed to the mixing of some tracks.
Foy is currently on a UK tour with festival dates planned throughout the summer.