Signs of Life Foy Vance
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- 2We Can't Be Tamed03:03
- 3Signs of Life05:00
- 4Roman Attack04:27
- 5People Are Pills02:11
- 6Time Stand Still04:39
- 7If Christopher Calls04:00
- 9Hair of the Dog02:25
- 11Republic of Eden04:59
- 12It Ain't Over05:42
Info for Signs of Life
Five years after his first studio album for Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records, 2016’s The Wild Swan, Foy Vance has revealed that his follow-up, Signs Of Life, will be released on September 10, 2021. The announcement comes as the Irish singer-songwriter releases the latest single from the album, “Time Stand Still”, which features a soaring, emotive vocal and was written at a time when Foy was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and painkillers.
“Time Stand Still” follows two earlier singles lifted from Signs Of Life, “Sapling” and the title track , which together have racked up almost half a million Spotify plays in the last two weeks and earned rave reviews from the likes of The New York Times and Clash magazine.
The new album, Foy’s fourth overall, comes following a pivotal time in his life, during which he confronted his demons. “I had my first extended period off the road after 20 years of constant touring,” he says. “And I realised, ‘Wow, I drink two bottles of wine and at least a half-bottle of vodka a day.’ I’d start the day with codeine to get myself sorted, and I’d smoke joints throughout the day. So I realised, ‘I have so many incredibly bad habits here.’ I’m showing all the signs of death, getting ashen, grey, smoking more, drinking more… I hit a wall.”
The title of his latest single, “Time Stand Still”, came from the realisation that he had a serious journey ahead of him to get better. “It was my manager that made me get help,” he explains. “And in those moments, you do wish time would stand still. Can’t I just stop here and sit in this moment before I have to take up that mantle?”
Recording for the album occurred in Foy’s home studio on the shores of Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire, as well as at another set-up in nearby Dunvarlich House and at Plan B’s Kings X studio in London. Written and played more or less entirely by Foy, Signs Of Life features input from young Northern Irish producer Gareth Dunlop, who recalls a chance encounter with the performer set him on his music career path many years earlier.
“When I was around 14 years old, I wandered into a coffee shop in Belfast and saw Foy playing in the corner,” Dunlop explains. “I was completely spellbound by what I heard. It was a lightbulb moment that sent me on the road of wanting to discover my own voice and musicality. I would never have imagined that I would be co-producing a record with him 18 years later, and that I would be just as inspired and spellbound by what he does.”
As well as being recorded during a transitional time in Foy’s life, Signs Of Life was created during the grimness that abounded during 2020. As as an album it represents the dawn after darkness, hope after despair, engagement after isolation and uplift after lockdown. “Signs of Life is about re-emergence – me in my own soft revolution, the world re-emerging in what we’re about to see as we hopefully go back to some semblance of normality,” Foy says. “But just life in general – flowers growing through the cracks in Chernobyl. Life finds a way, doesn’t it?”
Visually, the album’s artwork has a boldness to it that reflects how wild and unpredictable life can me. On the front cover, the singer wears a dress, blonde wig and theatrical make-up, while the back image is of Foy as a bare-chested, bare-knuckle boxer. “They’re just mad, striking images, and I loved the fact that it was male and female. You know, life’s extreme, life’s volatile, life explodes into reality sometimes and stops just as quick. So to be struck by images on the cover made sense.”
is a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter hailing from Bangor, Northern Island and deeply rooted in the rich musical history and aesthetic of the Southern United States. Traveling through America for much of his youth, Foy eventually settled down in Ireland where he worked to put out his debut album Hope in 2007. Gathering the acclaim of both fans and fellow musicians, Foy was invited to tour worldwide with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John. Foy’s second full-length album, Joy of Nothing, debuted in 2013 on Glassnote Records and was followed up by Foy’s first live recording, Live at Bangor Abbey, recorded in Foy’s hometown.
In late 2015 Foy became only the second artist signing to Gingerbread Man Records, a division of Atlantic Records started by Ed Sheeran. Recording for his Gingerbread Man debut The Wild Swan took place at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tenn. with GRAMMY-winning producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, James Bay, Kings of Leon, Of Monsters and Men). Recording legend Elton John is the album’s Executive Producer, and Foy will support Elton on the UK & European legs of his Wonderful Crazy tour this summer. The Wild Swan is available now.
This album contains no booklet.