Vance is signed to Ed Sheeran’s label, but drive all thoughts of teen-friendly bland pop from your heads, pop-pickers: Vance is really good, and indicates that Mr Sheeran has very good taste (and business sense, but we knew that).
Vance plays laid-back bluesy folk that’s got a 60s West Coast vibe to it; a lot of the time he sounds like his countryman Van Morrison, at other times James Taylor. We think he has or will be supporting Elton John this year, Sir Elton being a man who can pick only the best to share a stage with.
It’s great getting CDs to review but albums like this make us wish we had more time to savour one album at a time, as this is a set of songs to listen to over and over, until you know every note.
Opening song Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution is a swampy blues rock n roll tune, while Upbeat Feelgood, an early standout, is a rootsier tune that’s very Van Morrison song in both vocal delivery and the song’s arrangement.
Track three Coco is more James Taylor, and with kind of thoughtful lyrics you might have expected to come out of Laurel Canyon back in the day. Casanova is a driving tune that builds from acoustic guitar and vocals to end with the whole band going full bore; it’s got a Fleetwood Mac feel in the way it flows. Bangor Town is slower and more mournful, back to the Van sound. Excellent, and not a weak track.