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Another Australian one-hit wonder!

What do they put in the water down under that produces all these one-hit wonders?!?

Following in the footsteps of Men At Work (Down Under), Jet (Are You Gonna Be My Girl), and John Paul Young (Love Is In The Air), Vance Joy had huge success with his tune Riptide.

Perhaps it’s down to Riptide being developed over several years. Initially shelved, then brought back and fused with a later tune he was working on, it feels significantly more mature and obvious than Vance Joy’s other tunes.

It has the same simplistic, unapologetic minimalism that the aforementioned Down Under, Love Is In The Air, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, and Down Under have. There’s nothing in any of these tunes that doesn’t need to be there, they all feel timeless somehow.

They all feel as if they somehow wrote themselves, that they’ve always been around. None of them feel forced.

I guess the only question is, why can’t any of these bands/artists, including Vance Joy, do it again? Since we won’t get an answer to that question, perhaps, if you study how these tunes are put together, you could work out how to write one yourself.

One of the obvious ingredients to writing a hit definitely seems to be: Don’t put too many ideas in, keep it defined. Kind of like Australia itself, when we think of it, there are a few things that come to mind that define the place, and we all know what they are. Kangaroos, Aboriginals, the Outback, AC/DC, all stuff you don’t have anywhere else.

Defined, unique, obvious.

Check the playlist above, I’ve included several Vance Joy tunes, even a gig. Compare them all to each other, including the reaction to Riptide at the end of the gig, compared to how the crowd feels up until then.

If you can work out why Riptide is an obvious hit and the rest aren’t, you might be able to write a tune as good as yourself.

Vance Joy tunes | Related pages


Riptide chords

You can learn how to play Riptide by Vance Joy using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.

Am G | C |
I was scared of dentists and the dark…

Vance Joy on the web

Listen to Vance Joy on Spotify


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