Foy Vance

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Not to be confused with Vance Joy.
Foy Vance
Foy Vance 2013.jpg
Foy Vance (2013)
Background information
Born Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active 2006–present
Associated acts

Foy Vance is a Northern Irish musician and singer-songwriter signed to Glassnote Records in 2013. Vance has toured as a support act to British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran,[1] and his music has been featured on numerous TV shows. On 26 August 2013, he released his second full-length album, Joy of Nothing, which has been met with universal critical praise, being called "a gorgeous collection of open, uplifting songs, which showcase [Vance's] magnificent songwriting skills."[2][3]

Music career[edit]

2006–11: Early Career and Hope[edit]

Vance's first single, "Gabriel and the Vagabond", was released on 18 December 2006 on Wurdamouth Records. The single's B-side was "Indiscriminate Act of Kindness". The songs "Homebird" and "Gabriel and the Vagabond" were both featured in the second season of the US TV drama Grey's Anatomy.[4]

"Indiscriminate Act of Kindness" is featured in a TV commercial for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which was aired in the UK up until Christmas of 2006.[5] Vance, who often uses alternative tunings for his guitar, had previously released two limited edition EPs on Wurdamouth Records, Live Sessions and the Birth of the Toilet Tour and Watermelon Oranges.[6][7]

On 21 July 2007, Vance's debut album, Hope, was self-released via Wurdamouth Records.[8] The album obtained some critical acclaim within the United Kingdom with the album track "Two Shades of Hope", which contains a hidden recording of Vance's daughter, Ella, singing "You Are My Sunshine" at the end.[9] His piano player is London based composer Jules Maxwell.[10]

In early 2008, Vance was invited to perform at a number of prisons in England, including New Hall's women's prison and Full Sutton maximum security prison in York.[11]

In 2010, Vance along with David Holmes, composed the music for a short film by director Terry George, and as a result was offered a part in the director's next feature film, Whole Lotta Sole, as a busker. The short film, The Shore, won a 2012 Academy Award.

2011–12: The Melrose EP[edit]

On 31 January 2011, Vance went to Los Angeles to finish the recording of The Melrose EP with Holmes. During his trip to L.A., Vance put on a special show for fans.[12]

As part of Belfast Music Week 2011, Vance hosted a hoedown branded as "Foy Vance and Friends". It featured a spread of Vance's close friends from Belfast who joined him on the stage. The event sold out Ulster Hall in Belfast.

During 2012's South by South West Festival in Austin, Vance was programmed as part of Brooklyn Vegan's tribute event to Daniel Johnston.[13]

On 27 August 2012, Vance released his newest EP, The Melrose EP, on Communion Records. The EP featured four new tracks which were produced by Holmes. The EP makes up the score of Terry George's Academy Award winning film The Shore and the lead track from the EP, "Be The Song" has featured on episodes of Private Practice, House, Vampire Diaries, Arrow and Haven in addition to the film Warm Bodies.[14][15]

Vance performed at BBC's Proms in the Park in Belfast on 8 September 2012.[16] In late 2012, Vance was one of the support acts for British artist, Ed Sheeran's UK tour. As well as his support slot on the tour, Vance came on stage during Sheeran's main set to duet on his song "Kiss Me" from Sheeran's album +.[17] Vance went on to support Sheeran on the US leg of his tour, where the pair again duetted on Sheeran's track "Kiss Me".[18] Sheeran has also been known to cover Vance's song "Guiding Light," which often closes Vance's headline sets.[19]

2013–present: Joy of Nothing[edit]

In early 2013, Vance signed with Glassnote Records and completed his new album, Joy of Nothing, which was released on 26 August 2013.[20] The album announcement was accompanied by a music video for the song "Joy of Nothing" which featured Vance and his daughter, Ella.[21] The album includes vocal features from Bonnie Raitt and Sheeran,[2] the latter of whom has already expressed his excitement for the upcoming release.[22] On 10 June 2013, Vance released a 22-minute documentary, Recording Nothing, which shows the writing and recording process for the album.[23]

Vance performed at Tennents Vital on 15 August 2013 along with headliners Snow Patrol, and also toured with Raitt throughout the United Kingdom.[24][25] He and Sheeran traded cameos, with Sheeran joining Vance on stage at the Bowery Ballroom on 4 November 2013 and Vance joining Sheeran at Madison Square Garden on 7 November 2013.

On 12 November 2013, Joy of Nothing won the inaugural Northern Ireland Music Prize for best album. Other nominees included Tired Pony, Girls Names, and Two Door Cinema Club.[26]

In November 2015, Vance signed with Ed Sheeran's Gingerbread Man Records.


Vance was involved in the exclusive, Other Voice, in Dingle, Ireland in 2007.[27] Vance took part in a Channel 4 series called, where he speaks about how profound the hymn, "Amazing Grace", is and how it impacted him hearing a vagabond at Ground Zero, New York, playing this song.[28] Channel 4 created a documentary about Vance, showing him talking about all aspects of his career from growing up, playing shows in Ireland, playing a show in New York with Pete Townshend, and organically recording his debut album, Hope.[29] In September 2011, Vance joined Snow Patrol on the BBC's Later with Jools Holland, to perform their single, "Fallen Empires".[30] On 4 June 1994, Vance appeared as Andrew Strong of The Commitments on the TV talent show, Stars in Their Eyes.[31] His music has been the background in several episodes of Beauty and the Beast, CW series. In May 2015, Vance appeared with Rudimental on BBC2's "Later with Jools Holland".



  • Hope (Wurdamouth Records, 2007)
  • Joy of Nothing (Glassnote Records, 2013)


  • Blueprints EP (2000)
  • Live Sessions and the Birth of the Toilet Tour (2005)
  • Watermelon Oranges (2006)
  • Gabriel and the Vagabond (2006)
  • Be with me Remix by The Free Association (2008)
  • Portraits of the Artist (2009)
  • Time Lays Low (2009)
  • Live with the Ulster Orchestra at the Waterfront Hall Belfast (2009)
  • Melrose EP (2012)


  1. ^ "Concert review: Foy Vance at Islington Assembly Hall". 14 March 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Alex (10 June 2013). "Foy Vance new album: Joy of Nothing (+ documentary) | Folk Radio UK". Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Coleman, Maureen. "ALBUM REVIEW: Joy of Nothing". Culture Northern Ireland. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Music Showcase - Just Added - Foy Vance - I Got Love". BBC. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Foy Vance: Irish soul music and Indiscriminate Acts Of Kindness". Cross Rhythms. 14 January 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Foy Vance | Watermelon Oranges Ep EP Review". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "One on One with... FOY VANCE!". One on One Music. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  8. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation (7 February 2007). "Northern Ireland - Across The Line". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Biography". Foy Vance. Glassnote Records. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Taylor Bruce (21 April 2008). "Foy Vance: The Homebird's Chorus :: Music :: Features :: Paste". Paste. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  11. ^ James, Erwin (4 July 2008). "Erwin James reports on the effect musicians visiting prisons may have on the inmates". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Introducing Mr. Foy Vance". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "BV Presents Daniel Johnston's 'Space Ducks' SXSW Launch Party w/ Daniel, Built to Spill & many more performing". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Foy Vance – Melrose EP release – Communion". 19 July 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Warm Bodies Movie (2013) Soundtrack (1 February 2013). "Warm Bodies Soundtrack List | Warm Bodies Movie (2013)". Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  16. ^ ATL. "Across the Line: Foy Vance releases 'Melrose' EP". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Callum Moorin (14 October 2012). "Ed Sheeran w/ Foy Vance and Passenger". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Live Review: Ed Sheeran with Foy Vance and Rizzle Kicks at Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD – 29th January 2013 | There Goes The Fear, a UK/US Music Web site". 26 February 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  19. ^ AdidasOriginals91 (16 September 2012). "Ed Sheeran - Guiding Light (LIVE beim SWR3 New Pop Festival 2012 in Baden- Baden)". YouTube. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  20. ^ Glassnote Records. "Joy Of Nothing". Foy Vance. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  21. ^ LeePL (25 February 2013). "Foy Vance - Joy Of Nothing". YouTube. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Twitter / edsheeran: very fortunate to have been given an early copy". Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  23. ^ "Foy Vance". Recording Nothing. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  24. ^ Across The Line. "Blogs - Across the line - Snow Patrol headline Vital with guests Foy Vance and Kodaline". BBC. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  25. ^ Natalie Xenos (13 June 2013). "Joy Of Nothing - Foy Vance". Culturefly. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  26. ^ Jones, Rhian (13 November 2013). "Foy Vance wins inaugural Northern Ireland Music Prize". Music Week (Intent Media). Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  27. ^ "Other Voices | Foy Vance". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  28. ^ "Foy Vance - Why is Amazing Grace so amazing?". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  29. ^ foyvancemusic (12 August 2009). "Foy Vance - 4Play". YouTube. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  30. ^ "Twitter / foyvance: Singing with Snow Patrol on Later with Jools". Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  31. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | STARS IN THEIR EYES[04/06/94] (1994)". 16 April 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.