Vance Joy’s 13-track Nation of Two once again capitalizes on the artist’s chief strengths: simplicity, honesty and metaphor. Simplicity by way of largely unadorned guitar and ukulele, honesty in that the songs feel as if they’re drawn directly from Joy’s life and metaphors sprinkled throughout while not overwrought. Standouts include “I was just a boy striking matches upon your heart” and “I was a bird, you opened the cage.” The record is musically sparse while lyrically more complex. But it will likely enable Joy to both keep the audience he found with his earlier releases and to expand it. Certainly it represents continued growth and a worthy follow-up.
Nation of Two