Nation of Two
Vance's romantic love songs feel like poetry poured into pop-music castings, overflowing with intimacy and tuneful tenderness. The Melbourne singer/songwriter is plenty talented on his own, but to tip the scales for album two, he hired seasoned songwriters Dave Bassett and Dan Wilson to cowrite many of the songs here. As a result, Nation of Two feels brighter and bigger, a rich plate of layered harmonies (“Lay It On Me”), buoyant rhythms (“We’re Going Home”), and flourishes of banjo and ukulele (“Saturday Sun”). They’re strung together by his quivering croon, which shines on acoustic ballads like “I’m with You,” a fairy-tale serenade so sweet it belongs in a Hallmark card.