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, 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."
2006–11: Early Career and Hope
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.
"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. 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.
On 21 July 2007, Vance's debut album, Hope, was self-released via Wurdamouth Records. 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. His piano player is London based composer Jules Maxwell.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Vance performed at BBC's Proms in the Park in Belfast on 8 September 2012. 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 +. Vance went on to support Sheeran on the US leg of his tour, where the pair again duetted on Sheeran's track "Kiss Me". Sheeran has also been known to cover Vance's song "Guiding Light," which often closes Vance's headline sets.
2013–present: Joy of Nothing
In early 2013, Vance signed with Glassnote Records and completed his new album, Joy of Nothing, which was released on 26 August 2013. The album announcement was accompanied by a music video for the song "Joy of Nothing" which featured Vance and his daughter, Ella. The album includes vocal features from Bonnie Raitt and Sheeran, the latter of whom has already expressed his excitement for the upcoming release. On 10 June 2013, Vance released a 22-minute documentary, Recording Nothing, which shows the writing and recording process for the album.
Vance performed at Tennents Vital on 15 August 2013 along with headliners Snow Patrol, and also toured with Raitt throughout the United Kingdom. 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.
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. Vance took part in a Channel 4 series called 4Thought.tv, 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. 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. In September 2011, Vance joined Snow Patrol on the BBC's Later with Jools Holland, to perform their single, "Fallen Empires". On 4 June 1994, Vance appeared as Andrew Strong of The Commitments on the TV talent show, Stars in Their Eyes. 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".