Bangor born singer Foy Vance has made one of the most stirring albums of 2013 – it’s as simple as that. And he will be showcasing songs from Joy of Nothing when he plays Róisín Dubh on Friday, December 6.
‘The scenery’s changing, and it warms my soul,’ Foy sings on Closed Hand, Full of Friends, the album’s sublime opening track. It recalls the recent changes to his own landscape.
“I’d been living in London for seven years and kind of had enough of it,” he says. “So I moved up to the Highlands of Scotland and when I was on the train on way up to see the house that I’d rented, I wrote that song. Watching the change of scenery, I thought this is exactly what I need.”
The song swells and soars, it crashes and stops. When it came time to record it, was that hard to get right?
“We got a great studio [in Donegal] run by Tommy McLoughlin from the Villagers,” Foy says. “A beautiful room, with a beautiful view out the window and we just got really good gear, good musicians and that was it. We actually recorded that version in one take, it wasn’t like we sat around thinking about it lots.”
Calling an album Joy of Nothing could catch people off guard, but make no mistake – this is a record of substance. What was the thinking behind the title track?
“Well, there’s many ways to skin that cat!” Foy says. “I guess it’s as much the joy of the mundane, the joy of the everyday. People say ‘do you like touring?’. And yeah, I do like touring, playing live and all that, but I also like making sandwiches and doing school runs, making cups of tea and lighting fires.”