“It’s been a minute!” Vance Joy said.
Best known for his 2013 international megahit, “Riptide,” the 33-year-old Australian singer-songwriter—whose real name is James Keogh—has been laying relatively low recently… well, until now, that is. In January, he was featured on “You” alongside benny blanco and Marshmello, which became an instant success, racking up somewhere north of 100 million streams on Spotify alone. Now, on May 19, Joy is putting out his first solo single in over three years: “Missing Piece,” a heartfelt indie-folk anthem.
“I wrote this song during one of the lengthy lockdowns in Melbourne in 2020,” Joy told American Songwriter. “I wanted to be writing and collaborating, so I was trying a handful of songwriting sessions over Zoom. Joel Little—who is an amazing songwriter and producer—was in New Zealand at the time and our time zones lined up. I was excited to work with him and he had this lovely upbeat riff to start us off. I was at that time, like a lot of people, separated from someone I love due to travel restrictions and the lyrics tell that story. The lyrics come from a hopeful place. Whatever the time and distance apart you’re both gonna keep holding the line.”
Perhaps one of Joy’s strongest qualities is his ability to write songs that feel like they fit into that special “life soundtrack” classification. While “Riptide” embodies that for millions of listeners, “Missing Piece” certainly reinforces Joy’s reputation. From its sentimental lyrics to its anthemic melodies, the single feels like a perfect match for a variety of meaningful life moments. In fact, the tune is even set to be featured in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on May 20, something Joy himself is very excited about.
“I’m stoked it’s getting this moment in Grey’s,” he said. “It is a beautiful scene that features the song. I think the lyrics fit with the sentiment and I am just really happy that it’s going to be heard by everyone watching… which is a lot of people.”
Even though “Riptide” is one of the most popular songs of the past decade—and Joy’s average number of monthly streamers currently keeps him within the top 300 artists on the planet—he’s never lost the humbleness behind a comment like the one above alluding to his amazement at how many folks this single might reach. Especially after being away from releasing solo music for a few years—and, not to mention, living through a pandemic—he’s looking forward to being able to start this new chapter.
“It feels great and exciting and slightly nerve-wracking,” he said. “After listening to the song so many times in the production process, I lose a bit of perspective. It’s a relief for people to hear it and (hopefully) connect with it. I like having new tunes to share that refresh my setlist. So, it comes to life a bit when it goes out into the world.”
And now, going out into the world, it’s time for “Missing Piece” to start living.
Vance Joy’s new single “Missing Piece” is out now and available everywhere. Watch the music video for it below: