Having just finished up a staggering stint of four sold out shows at Melbourne’s Northcote Social Club as part of his national EP tour, emerging singer-songwriter Vance Joy has cut a major breakthrough deal in the United States of America.
The Melbourne local is destined for big things after securing a five album deal with lucrative US label Atlantic Records, joining an impressive list of recent international signees in the last year, including Husky becoming the first ever Australian act on Sub Pop, and San Cisco inking a deal with Fat Possum.
Vance Joy, real name James Keogh, caught his break when his manager Jadden Comerford (who also looks after hardcore acts The Amity Affliction and Northlane) sent catchy single ‘Riptide’ to a contact at US Label Roadrunner Records.
It then fell into the hands of a talent scout. The songster was then flown out to America and impressed key executives at a showcase in New York last September, “It was nerve-wracking, but they must have liked it,” the tunesmith told News Ltd.
The major label deal is pretty incredible for an artist with only one EP under his belt. “The fact I even get an opportunity to make one album is crazy. But if all goes to plan I’ll get to make five albums. That’d be nice. But I can’t even think about that now, I still haven’t even made one album yet,” says Joy.
“It gives me an amazing opportunity,” adds the 25-year-old. “There’s been a stream of good news of late, I’m very fortunate.”
Vance Joy owes a lot of his success to breakthrough ukelele-led single ‘Riptide’. “I did have a good feeling about the song, an intuition. I knew it was special. It’s got a certain spark to it, it connects with people,” the singer-songwriter explains. “I’m really grateful for it. It’s such a valuable thing for me to have written that song. I can’t believe it came out of me. I was lucky to channel it, I feel like I snagged this fish out of the ocean.” “It gives me an amazing opportunity. There’s been a stream of good news of late, I’m very fortunate.” – Vance Joy
The song from the debut EP is currently on high rotation at Triple J and sparked a bidding war between publicists when Joy performed it at SXSW earlier in the year. His performance at the mammoth industry event drove the single to #1 Most Popular Song on international blog aggregator Hype Machine, attracting a massive 180,000+ plays on Soundcloud in just one month.
The five-track EP, God Loves You When You Are Dancing has been highly acclaimed, with our Tone Deaf reviewer labelling it “a gorgeous, stripped back collection of organic life experiences.”
The talented songster has been hard at work on the road too, having toured in support of Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men and Australia’s own Julia Stone before playing his own headline gigs in Brisbane, Sydney and hometown Melbourne.
The up-and-comer will head out on a US tour later this month in support of folk singer Lissie before returning home for a slot at Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass. He will then hit the road again with Aussie favourite and former Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning for an extensive national tour in July and August; fellow Melbourne locals Big Scary will also join the tour.
Having handpicked the supports himself, Fanning says, “it’s a privilege to be taking Big Scary and Vance Joy with us as these are both acts that will be rocking houses and warming hearts for years to come.”
The new record deal sees Joy follow in the footsteps of fellow Mushroom Group stablemates The Rubens who signed a worldwide deal with Warner Bros. Records earlier this year.
The Rubens, like Vance Joy, played a record run of four sold out shows at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne last year (before even releasing their self-titled debut album). The rising songster is signed with Liberation Records, whilst four-piece The Rubens are signed to Ivy League Records, both subsidies of the Mushroom Group.
The talented folkster has recorded a series of live videos, performed at Mixed Business, the Fitzroy-based studio-come-headquarters of forthcoming Bernard Fanning touring partners, Big Scaryy. The videos are being released weekly and are streaming exclusively on Tone Deaf, the latest performance, ‘Play With Fire’ can be viewed here.