Foy Vance has released ‘Signs Of Life‘, the Award-winning musician’s fourth studio album and second on Ed Sheeran’s label, Gingerbread Man Records. ‘Signs Of Life’ is the follow-up to 2016’s critically acclaimed ‘The Wild Swan’ and is available now on CD, LP and digital formats.
Vance has also today announced a 2022 world tour, which will include dates at London’s Eventim Apollo and culminate at Belfast’s SSE Arena, Vance’s first ever Arena show in his native Northern Ireland. Tickets go on sale next Friday September 17 at 10am from foyvance.com. Next year’s tour follows An Evening With Foy Vance, Vance’s current sold-out UK & US tour which started earlier this week and includes two London gigs.
Signs Of Life is the sound of a beloved singer-songwriter at the peak of his powers. Created out of the grimness of 2020, it’s an album of dawn after darkness, hope after despair, engagement after isolation, uplift after lockdown.
“As always Foy has knocked it out of the park,” comments Ed Sheeran, who made his long-time friend and sometime touring partner Vance one of the first signings to his label Gingerbread Man Records. “I love giving him the creative freedom to do what he wants as I’m at the end of the day just a huge fan of his work. It’s such a joy to be able to put out such great bodies of work from him, I hope everyone enjoys it as much as me.”
“I feel like I’ve got a confidante in Ed, a real ally,” adds Vance. “In many ways he has found a way to afford me the ability to keep on making art the way I want to make it. It’s comforting to know that no matter what I wanted to do, he would fight for it.”
At any time, a new collection of songs from Foy Vance would be a tonic. At this particular time, they can’t arrive a moment too soon. “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,” explains Vance.
Signs Of Life was recorded in three locations: Vance’s Pilgrim studio at home on the shores of Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire, another recording set-up in a nearby Dunvarlich House, and at Plan B’s Kings X studio in London. The album was written and played more or less entirely by Vance, with assistance from young Northern Irish producer Gareth Dunlop.
Album opener and lead track ‘Sapling’ – which has 2m streams on Spotify – begins with a gently building piano figure, like the stage curtains opening. Vance sings: “I once built a bower, I could build you a home.” It was a promise to his partner, who’d moved from London to join the Bangor native in his adopted home in the Scottish Highlands, that he’d do more than simply offer a new domestic setting.
“When I wrote Sapling I had a daughter and a son,” says Vance. “Between then and now, I proposed to my wife, married her the next day – she didn’t know anything about it, it was a secret wedding up in the woods near Kenmore. I flew her soul sister over from Australia to marry us. It was a beautiful, wild night.”
Signs Of Life comes with bold sleeve artwork that reflects Vance’s desire to embrace all sides of everything, all humanity’s textures. Shot on a 160-year-old camera which does arresting things with colours and shading, the back image is of Vance as a bare-chested, bare-knuckle boxer. On the front, he’s in a dress, blonde wig and theatrical make-up.
“They’re just mad, striking images, and I loved the fact that it was male and female,” explains Vance. “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.”
Hailing from Bangor in Northern Ireland, Foy Vance has headlined globally to sell-out crowds and splits his time between London and the Scottish Highlands with his family.
FOY VANCE PRESENTS SIGNS OF LIFE TOUR 2022, UK & EIRE DATES
March 22 Cork, Cyprus Avenue
March 23 Dublin, Olympia Theatre
March 25 York, York Barbican
March 26 Edinburgh, The Queen’s Hall
March 27 Birmingham, The Alexandra Theatre
March 29 Manchester, The Bridgewater Hall
March 30 London, Eventim Apollo
April 2 Belfast, SSE Arena
Special guests Gareth Dunlop and The Late Heavy
Tickets on sale 10am September 17 from foyvance.com
AN EVENING WITH FOY VANCE TOUR 2021 (REMAINING DATES)
September 12 Belfast, Empire (SOLD OUT)
November 10 Los Angeles, Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (SOLD OUT)
November 12 Nashville, Ryman Auditorium * (SOLD OUT)
November 13 Nashville, Ryman Auditorium *
November 16 New York, Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 2 (SOLD OUT)
* supporting Anderson East