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Foy Vance – Melrose EP (Review)

Foy Vance, Melrose EP

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

MORE of a mini-album than an EP, Foy Vance’s Melrose is a quietly enjoyable listen that showcases an artist who continues to go from strength to strength.

What’s more, the Melrose EP is a collaboration between Foy and acclaimed producer David Holmes and is the score for Terry George’s Academy Award winning film The Shore. It’s Foy’s first body of new material in a handful of years, and will be followed by the release of his album in early 2013.

Speaking of how his collaboration with Foy came about, Holmes said: “I asked Foy because Terry George was looking for an Irish themed score and after reading the script and talking to Terry I felt that some of the songs would work brilliantly within the film alongside some of the score that had already been created.

“I always thought Foy had a great voice but I had my own ideas in how he should be using it.,.. softer, quieter with less force. After sending Foy a bunch of tracks that I hoped he would be influenced by he came to my studio and played me some songs he had written. The ones I liked and felt I could contribute to were recorded at my studio in Belfast and then finished in LA.”

Anyone expecting something from Foy and Holmes to resemble the latter’s work on the Ocean’s 11 soundtrack series had best think again, however, as this is stripped back and vaguely ethereal.

There’s a tender beauty to EP opener Be The Song which is utterly enriching. Subtle guitar chords and electronics serve as a backdrop to Foy’s soft vocal approach, while the melodic chorus has a quietly mesmerising quality to it. In addition to forming the soundtrack for George’s movie, it’s also been used on shows like The Vampire Diaries and House given its cinematic qualities.

Into The Fire, meanwhile, has a similarly beguiling quality about it, slow-building to some fragile highs, while Something In The Water picks up the tempo to endearing, nicely melodic effect, intricately layering in its instrumentation.

That track is about as lively as the EP gets, however, with the final two songs, Midnight Starlet and When All This Is Over slowing things back down and even, in the latter’s case, coming over all melancholy. It’s never less than thought-provoking, though, and utterly addictive in its quietly impressive way.

The prospect of a new album from Foy is an exciting one.

Download picks: Be The Song, Something In The Water
Track listing:

  1. Be The Song
  2. Into The Fire
  3. Something In The Water
  4. Midnight Starlet
  5. When All This Is Over