As heard in recent singles ‘Garden Of The Year’ and ‘Vixen’, VC Pines – aka Jack Mercer – has moved away from the realm of indie-rock that he enjoyed as front man of The Carnabys and has immersed himself in a well of alternative soul, poetry and punk performance.
Mercer has garnered the support of BBC Radio’s Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne, Chris Hawkins, Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Cerys Matthews and Jack Saunders. He has also received praise from the likes of Clash Magazine, Headliner Magazine, Atwood Magazine and Fred Perry Subculture. Lately, Mercer shared a studio with the Brit Award winning artist Tom Walker.
After a whirlwind year, VC Pines is now ready to release his debut EP, titled Indigo, featured newest single ‘Nervous’.
We all experience nervousness, it’s an adage of being human, a remnant of our hunter-gatherer ancestors who relied on this feeling to stay alert in life-and-death situations. For most us us, this nervousness is no longer connected to survival, and yet that rush of adrenaline and cortisol still finds us in everyday situations. For VC Pines he experienced nervous excitement during meetings, shows and interviews. As he recalls, “having that much going on around me, I started to notice a change.” The rich imagery of new song ‘Nervous’ evokes the physical changes and nervous tweaks that started to appear in stressful situations.
“I noticed the skin from around my nails and my nails themselves were almost non-existent from constantly picking away when having important meetings or deep in writing sessions when my brain was no longer on this planet.”
Delving deeper into the cause of his anxiety, Jack Mercer opens up about the desperation to be accepted for the methods he uses when writing, as can be heard in the lyrics “’still working out how to use my Synaesthesia, / If I focus too much, I get the colour fever, / Hoping one day that you could be the wild receiver, / Another smile all the while I’ll be underneath ya.’” Even the instrumental breaks in ‘Nervous’ harbour a message. They became the space for long-awaited answers to be offered. As Jack says, “Whatever it might be, I don’t know, but that’s how I ike to fill those spaces in my head.”
The whole EP has been produced by Hound and VC Pines, with beats for ‘Nervous’ and ‘Kinbaku’ created by Selasi, drums for ‘Vixen’ recorded at Numen Studios and played by James Trood whilst ‘Indigo’ was also written with Lucy Lu.
“My EP – Indigo – is a culmination of works made at The HUB studio in the Kennel room. A fully soundproofed studio room above one of the oldest pubs in Britain. Indigo as a collection of songs covers themes of jealousy, youthful nostalgic love, epilepsy and mental health, anxiety and bondage.”
The recorded sound shows each song you may have heard previously at a live show, in a different light. It has been recorded with clarity and a clear message, covering an array of colours and sounds.
VC Pines is set to play a headline show at London’s Lexington on April 3rd.
“Lovely record!” – Steve Lamacq
“A soft, soul-filled performance shines through melded with wonderfully clean guitars and tight, snappy drums. All of this lies underneath a punky, yet delicate vocal that is complimented with some stunning instrumentation.” – Yack Magazine
“dynamic, alt-soul musical vibes with soaring vocals to match.” – Headliner Magazine
“bold and vibrant indie-pop swoon” – Mystic Sons
“Garden Of The Year love love love that, absolutely beautiful!” – Chris Hawkins
“The powerful soul inspired song is heightened with emotion with the help of VC Pines’ intoxicating vocals.” – Atwood Magazine
“I love the natural soul sounds, low notes are almost like Johnny Cash.” – Jack Saunders BBC Radio 1 (Next Wave)
3rd April – The Lexington Headline Show
10th April – Stockton Calling Festival
4th May – Live At Leeds
10th May – The Great Escape, Brighton (Fierce Panda Official Showcase)
6th June – The Crofters Rights, Bristol
7th June – The Castle, Manchester