I don't know about you, but I love a nice, stripped down indie folk song that gets me all up in my feelings. Something about that particular sound is so comforting, even when it makes you want to cry - like the music envelops you in a warm, cozy blanket. All of this is part of what made Vance Joy
such a hit in 2014 after the release of his debut record, Dream Your Life Away
. The Australian singer-songwriter won us all over with his gentle tone and romantic lyrics, which sounded even prettier when he came to visit Baeble HQ for an exclusive live session.
If you're looking to fall head over heels for another indie folk heartthrob, look no further. These seven artists emulate Vance's nostalgic, lovelorn writing through introspective acoustic melodies. It's the perfect group of artists to spin while curled up in bed with a cup of tea, or while staring longingly out the window during your early morning commute.
1. Novo Amor
I only recently discovered Novo Amor, and I truly can't believe I've been living without these beautiful songs in my life for so long. The Welsh artist is still a pretty fresh face, but he has the makings of a breakout indie star. Like Vance Joy, Novo Amor revels in the soft-spoken pop ballad. Nothing about Novo Amor feels overproduced - just raw talent that creates simple, breathtaking music. His warbly voice and sparse melodies also give off For Emma
era Bon Iver vibes, which is hard not to love.
2. Ben Howard
Mercury Prize-nominated Ben Howard doesn't seem like the surfing type on the surface, but beach-bum lifestyle has had a significant impact on his music. Howard is a quiet indie folk star, often overshadowed by mainstream singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran and Hozier. His sophomore record, I Forget Where We Were,
saw him take a more electric turn, but his honest, introspective songwriting mirrors that of Vance Joy's stripped back record.
3. Foy Vance
Yes, there really is an artist who goes by Foy Vance and yes, he sounds remarkably similar to Vance Joy. It's extremely confusing, but in a fun way, like trying to remember which handsome Chris plays which handsome superhero. Foy Vance was one of the first artists signed to Ed Sheeran's Gingerbread Man Records, and the collaboration with Sheeran has definitely paid off. Vance's voice is significantly deeper than Joy's but the two share an affinity for gorgeous lyrics that float over simple acoustic melodies.
4. Angus and Julia Stone
Every time I hear this Australian brother-sister duo, I feel like I should be sitting in the corner booth of a dusty dive bar off Route 66 whose main demographic is an elderly biker gang and whose neon ‘open' sign is never not flickering aggressively. Though their take on folk relies heavily on ragged guitars and brooding choruses, their more understated tracks are just as sweet as Vance Joy's.
5. Lord Huron
Los Angeles based folk-rock band Lord Huron first gained momentum after playing fiery festival sets in the summer of 2011. More recently, you may have heard their dreamy ballad "The Night We Met" in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.
The band excels in jangley, blues inspired guitars and old Hollywood Western style, but brings the same sentimental storytelling heard on Vance Joy's debut.
6. Jeremy Messersmith
Minneapolis, Minnesota is a surprising indie music hot-spot. In the early 2000's, singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith brought his quirky, DIY style to the local music scene and became a hometown sensation. His earliest work emulates a softer, more melancholic Vance Joy. After releasing a trilogy of interrelated folk records, Messersmith has been on the road and recording his latest triumph, 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs for Ukulele.
7. Iron and Wine
When it comes to indie folk, no one does it better than Iron and Wine. Singer Samuel Beam takes whispered vocals and soft melodies to a whole new level, making you swoon with every single note. Though Iron and Wine has been around much longer than Vance Joy, you can draw parallels between both artists' heartfelt hooks. The group's seventh album Beast Epic
is out on August 25, and will surely showcase the airy acoustic folk that's given Iron and Wine their massive success.