Vows charted at #3 on the RIANZ Albums Chart in its first week after release, with "Settle Down" re-entering the singles chart at #37. In Australia, the album debuted at #5 on the ARIA Albums Chart, later peaking at #4. Vows has been certified Platinum in Australia for shipment of 70,000 units and Platinum in New Zealand for sales of 15,000 units.
On 4 May 2012, the album was re-released with six new songs, new mixing and was mastered by Colin Leonard in Atlanta, GA. It was released in Australia as Vows: Australian Tour Edition to coincide with her winter 2012 tour and included 6 previously unreleased songs. This edition of the album was released in New Zealand on 11 May 2012 as Vows: Deluxe Edition. On 22 May 2012 Vows was released to the North American market, debuting at #14 on the Billboard 200. The Vows album artwork including body art and illustrations were created by Rhys Mitchell and Raphael Rizzo.
The album received generally favorable reviews, obtaining a normalised score of 72 out of 100 from Metacritic, based on reviews from 16 selected mainstream critics. Lydia Jenkin, of The New Zealand Herald's Time Out magazine, gave Vows 4/5 stars, praising Kimbra's "exciting vocal experiments on this colourful debut with impressive range".
"Warrior" was released as the album's fourth single on 4 May 2012. The song appears on the Australian Tour Edition/New Zealand Deluxe Edition and the standard North American and European editions of Vows. The song peaked at number 22 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.
"Two Way Street" was released as the album's fifth single on 12 July 2012.
"Come Into My Head" was released as the album's sixth single, with a music video released on 20 September 2012. This song was also featured in the ending credits to the 2013 movie The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.