In the past year, Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joyâ€™s single â€œRiptideâ€ has taken the world by storm. The upbeat ukulele ditty has dominated radio play and has been covered by the likes of Taylor Swift. But how does the rest of the record measure up?
Dream Your Life Away is a much more measured, introspective album than its breakthrough single indicates. This is solo folk that goes down easier than the noisy resurgence of bands influenced by Americana. Many of the songs here are well-honed glimpses into the midst of heartache. â€œWinds of Changeâ€ reflects on the simple moments in a relationship (clumsiness in bed, contacts left nearby) and longing for a lover to come back. â€œWasted Timeâ€ captures the feeling of not being good enough for someone else. The slow, falsetto-tinged â€œRed Eyeâ€ is a beautiful glimpse at the progress of a relationship as desperation creeps in.
Some of the gentler moments on Dream Your Life Away, such as the track â€œWho Am I,â€ are a bit underwhelming, especially when a repetitive chorus strikes. Fortunately this is a rare issue, and most of the album shows that this young talent has followed a strong single with a heartfelt, beautiful debut.