Sunday ACL Fest Interview: Vance Joy

7:15pm, Miller Lite Stage

Vance Joy’s 2014 debut, Dream Your Life Away, immediately shot the young Australian songwriter into the international spotlight. Anchored by the charming ripple and emotional yelp of his gentle tenor on hit “Riptide,” Joy landed an opening slot for Taylor Swift and wooed festivals, including 2015’s ACL.

His return this year anticipates the promise and pressure of his upcoming sophomore effort, expected early next year.

“There’s always a bit of pressure, but ultimately it comes down to you writing the songs that you write and that’s all you can do,” he acknowledges. “If you’re proud of the music, that’s the most important thing, and what I use as a kind of touchstone or guiding principle. If they’re received well and connect with people, that’s good, but it starts by feeling like you connect with them. You’re always chipping away on ideas and thinking about songs, and in my mind, we were always thinking about the next chapter.”

For his next chapter, Joy tapped a number of different producers and studios, including Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Shins) and Simone Felice (Felice Brothers, Lumineers). He co-wrote this summer’s lead single “Lay It on Me” with pop producer Dave Bassett, most recently recognized for Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s.”

“They all have their own way of doing things, which has led to some really cool and different colors on this album,” says Joy of working with the multiple producers. “You just have to follow your intuition, but I think it’s a balance between your instinct and the reality of time. You look to those people that you surround yourself with and they can help guide you. When you’re recording and the producers are excited and enthusiastic, that’s a good sign.”

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