About Vance Joy
Armed with little more than a ukulele and a voice quaking with emotion, James Keogh (a.k.a. Vance Joy) graduated almost overnight from busking on the streets of Melbourne to traveling North America and beyond with Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour. That was all thanks to “Riptide,” an indie-folk song that feels remarkably intimate and conversational before breaking into a great big sing-along. That calling card came early in Keogh’s career, appearing on his very first EP as well as on his 2014 debut album, Dream Your Life Away, which topped Australia’s public-voted Hottest 100 countdown and subsequently found a strong second life overseas. Taking his stage name from Peter Carey’s novel Bliss, Keogh (born in Melbourne in 1987) has maintained that balance of delicate sensitivity and swelling drama in all his songs since. On 2018’s Nation of Two, he returned to the humble ukulele on “Saturday Sun,” a song about uncertainty creeping into a new romance, and made his most expansive turn yet with “Lay It On Me.” Even as bright horns, resounding drums, and other instruments gather around him, Keogh remains locked onto the clear-eyed emotional truths that got him noticed in the first place.
BORNDecember 1, 1987