Vance Joy has had an unexpectedly long time to finish his debut album, Dream Your Life Away. There's a simple reason why - his first single “Riptide” kept charming the world and its charming author followed it around the globe. Several times over. In Australia, "Riptide" moved from alternative to commercial radio, then commercial TV and got a second wind after it became the first song to top Triple J's Hottest 100 countdown without an album to call home.
“Riptide” went worldwide, hitting No. 10 in the UK, and Top 10 in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It has sold over a million copies worldwide, is being streamed over three million times a week and has cracked the American Top 100 after relentless touring. “Riptide” has gone four times platinum in Australia, with its award victory lap including the prestigious ARIA Song of the Year award.
"It's taken on its own life," the musician says of “Riptide.” "It's definitely been a door opener. It's running its own race now." Naturally “Riptide” surfaces on Dream Your Life Away, kept company by another track from the God Loves You When You're Dancing EP, “From Afar.” "’Winds of Change’ is the first song I ever wrote that I thought was any good," Joy says. Good things came fast. He pieced together “Riptide” on a dirt cheap ukulele (he's since upgraded) from a few songs sitting on his cerebral scrap heap. That area in the back of his head also gave rise to new single “Mess is Mine,” a charming construct of good sections he managed to shoehorn in one song.
Books and films also provided plenty of inspiration. The movie in “Riptide” was Midnight Cowboy, while on Dream Your Life Away the tune ”We All Die Trying To Get It Right” started life when Joy was watching the movie Infamous about writer Truman Capote. “Who Am I” parties like it's 1899 - the year poet W.B Yeats wrote “The Wind Among the Reeds.” “Georgia,” one of the singer/songwriter's personal favorites, was written right in the throes of “Riptide” fever.
Hemingway's A Moveable Feast provoked the “first cut is the deepest” acknowledgement in “First Time,” the last song recorded for the album, again salvaged from one from Joy's “maybe” pile. “Red Eye” captures a pre-frequent flyer Joy who didn't know the phrase for the night flight, also with a few lyrical (and canine) nods to Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Dream Your Life Away was recorded mainly just outside of Seattle with producer Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Gossip, Johnny Flynn) including a handful of songs (“Mess is Mine,” “Winds of Change” and “Georgia”) being finished off in a tree house on the studio grounds.
With his debut album finally finished, Vance Joy is in the enviable position of the entire world wanting to hear it all at the same time. He's already blacked out the next year for touring, on the back of nearly two years of touring since “Riptide” was a mere ripple. The album title, Dream Your Life Away, came to him after hearing John Lennon's 1981 classic “Watching the Wheels.” "He has that line 'People say I'm crazy, dreaming my life away,' and I love that idea. That title feels like a good reflection of my life recently. It’s still all totally new to me. I still feel new as, which is good. I still feel like I'm just chipping away."
Vance Joy Dream Your Life Away Track Listing:
1. Winds Of Change
2. Mess Is Mine
3. Wasted Time
5. Who Am I
6. From Afar
7. We All Die Trying To Get It Right
9. Red Eye
10. First Time
11. All I Ever Wanted
12. Best That I Can
13. My Kind Of Man