Vance Joy’s ‘In Our Own Sweet Time’ review: See what we mean about Joy’s lyrics?

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Vance Joy’s ‘In Our Own Sweet Time’ review: See what we mean about Joy’s lyrics?

Vance Joy
Words by Bryget Chrisfield

In light of endless global pandemic-related restrictions and border closures, it seems we’ve all become experts at maintaining long-distance relationships.

Released last May and immediately landing a key sync on the 17th season of Grey’s Anatomy, Missing Piece – the first delicious taste of In Our Own Sweet Time – masterfully describes this exact set of circumstances since Vance Joy’s gf lives in Barcelona: “I see you darling but you pixilate… And I don’t mind ’cause we both know/ That we’ll be fine when you can finally make it home.” Have a go at this song’s octave-leaping chorus melody as well! Stops us in our tracks (in a good way) every single time.

There’s some good old-fashioned chivalry at play during the finger-picked ‘This One’, as well: “I recall the way she looked the first time we met/ Short brown hair and red rain jacket/ Oh, how could I forget/ Mmm-hmm…” – stahp it!

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It seems Joy’s main squeeze scores many more mentions throughout his third album: she also stars in the uke-featuring ‘Catalonia’ – playing tour guide for her Aussie boyfriend – and more of their enviable, luv’d-up memories are preserved for posterity during the record’s picturesque closer, ‘Daylight’: “We were walking arm and arm through Barcelona/ There were people singing opera in the streets/ Then I kissed you by the fountain by the square/ Part of my heart will always be there.”

Latest single ‘Clarity’ is invaded by jubilant horns, much like a mariachi band peacocking through an elegant poolside soirée: “There was only one person I wanted to find/ It was you…” – aw-shucks. See what we mean about Joy’s lyrics? Quite simple, really, but also unquestionably adorbs and setting an impossibly high bar for romantic expression.

Joy’s consistently spirit-lifting songs capture the magic of life’s golden moments – those you wish you could recall and relive on demand. Listeners know exactly what to expect when they press play on a Vance Joy release – heartfelt indie-folk that’s somehow never twee – which is comforting. That’s not to say Joy’s sound hasn’t evolved over the years – elsewhere on this album, ‘Wavelength’ incorporates what sounds like sitar and ‘Looking At Me Like That’ is sprinkled with some Celtic woodwind vibes – but, thankfully, instrumentation never drowns out his winsome vocal timbre, polished articulation and masterful storytelling. He’s previously incorporated lines from movies into his lyrics, but this LP sees Joy tapping into real emotion by generously sharing details from his personal life.

Already one of Australia’s most successful singer/songwriters and a multiple ARIA Award-winner to boot, Joy (James Keogh to his fam) is universally adored and kinda impossible to hate. In Our Own Sweet Time proves, yet again, that Joy’s breakthrough hit ‘Riptide’ was no fluke.

Label: Liberation
Release date: 10 June

Listen here.