Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy produces yet another calming soundtrack with “Nation of Two.” It is an indie-folk compilation that has multiple singles, including “Lay It On Me” and “Saturday Sun.” As an artist, Joy has an impressive resume with a notable list of accolades from his last album (including his hit “Riptide”). He had a lot to live up to with his new album, and he did not disappoint.
“Saturday Sun” is hands-down my favorite song on the album. It talks about meeting someone new on the West Coast and the memories he has made with the novel stranger. It is lighthearted and has warm tones that are reminiscent of summer days to come. “Call If You Need Me” reveals homesickness and how the protagonist misses being with his loved ones and is thinking of returning. “Take Your Time” is another love letter to a sweetheart he seems to adore. “I’m With You” was one of my top selections from the album. It is a slow and acoustic rendition of Joy spotting a woman and deciding to be her stronghold. His songs are perfect for road trips, coffee shops and for calm nights decompressing from a long day of classes.
My only critique of Joy is that he remains in his comfort zone in some respects. His main subject is usually love ballads in this album. I wish that he would have explored a few different avenues and gone away from his customary themes. However, many artists are successful in creating from what they know, and Joy is no exception. “Like Gold” takes a bit of a turn and talks about love lost and how to let go of built up memories in history and the “way it was.”
I want to hear more from him in the years to come and overall thoroughly enjoyed his album. He is a consistent go-to for comfort and consistency and should be taken seriously as a creator.
Janelle Wilcox is a senior graphic design major. This review reflects the opinion of the author only.