Today’s Song: The Sultry Vocals & Sounds of VC Pines’ “Vixen”

VC Pines © Betty Oxlade Martin
VC Pines’ “Vixen” is an honest discussion about the singer’s experience with epilepsy: The powerful soul inspired song is heightened with emotion with the help of VC Pines’ intoxicating vocals.

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VC Pines, the new solo name for Jack Mercer of The Carnabys, explores his experience with mental vacancy in his new single, “Vixen.” The feeling of being lost in thought and in music is something Mercer experiences often through his epilepsy; “Vixen” is a way of apologizing for his actions while in this state but a reminder to his loved ones that he will be okay.

I know it’s getting late in the evening
Knowing that you’re broken and bleeding
Receding back to the palace of dreams
Only place that you can’t sleep
Stream: “Vixen” – VC Pines


Though having an established indie-rock sound as former frontman of UK band The Carnabys, Mercer wants his solo project to branch out into different genres. Specifically, he wants to create music inspired by ones he is more passionate about and influenced him musically as he was growing up. These include alternative soul, poetry, and punk — which can be heard in “Vixen.”

Vixen - VC Pines

Vixen – VC Pines

“My influences stem from punk and soul with a lot more on the side. It’s a strange mix but they were CDs I could steal from my dad, so my ideas come from Richard Hell, The Stranglers, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave to Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, Otis Redding and Sly & The Family Stone,” Mercer says.

While there are a lot of different genres he wants to combine, he is confident of his sound because he wants them to be unique in that way. Previous singles from Mercer have been touching these various sounds and the type of experimentation he wants to dive into. “Where Is My Mind,” another single by the artist, has remnants of the aspiring soul music Mercer loves, but “Vixen” delivers the the true dark underbelly of the genre with a bit of rock that Mercer is so passionate about. The tune harbors a lovely melody for easy listening while the lyrics delve into a more difficult discussion.

VC Pines © Betty Oxlade Martin

VC Pines © Betty Oxlade Martin

What happened to the violent times
They’ve all calmed down due to violet signs
Dance behind the enemy lines
Quiet in the dark while the vixens cry
Quiet in the dark while the vixens cry
Quiet in the dark while the vixens cry

Despite his sudden shift in genres for this solo project, the indie-rock vibes can still be heard in a few of VC Pines’ tracks, particularly “Drowning Lessons.” “Vixen”, however, reaches that true blues tune with the help of Mercer’s vocals, which go into a deep sultry sound throughout the track. This is something very interesting to hear in comparison to The Carnabys’ genre, where he has a more upbeat and happy tone, because he is almost able to “manipulate” his voice to fit either genre.

Lyrically, the song’s subject matter stems from a time when Mercer spent months focusing so much on his music that he failed to remember the loved ones in his life. The first verse of the song creates an image of what’s going through Mercer’s mind, as he is experiencing this vacant mind, and the “demons” or “vixens” he faces while he is in this state. The song then turns into this apology to his loved ones, that he doesn’t want them to deal with the burden of worrying about him when he knows he is going to be alright.

“Mental vacancy is also something that can happen to me physically as a symptom of epilepsy, but I’m always okay after a seizure and it’s not something that will be the end of me,” Mercer explains.

You ain’t supposed to worry about what I know
Cos that’s how the trouble starts and
You ain’t supposed to worry about what I know
Cos that’s how the trouble starts and

The single definitely showcases Mercer’s capability and potential to be an individual artist because it shows his passion and ability to do all types of genres. VC Pines is an interesting project to watch unfold to say the least, due to the amount of genres that he has already done in just a few singles. “Vixen” not only marks a strong genre that he is able to do successfully, but shows his raw honesty when writing about his own personal experiences. Hopefully, he continues to follow this path and is able to complete a well put together LP in the near future.

VC Pines’ next major performance in 2019 is a headline show at London’s Lexington on April 3rd.

Stream: “Vixen” – VC Pines


 

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Vixen - VC Pines

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Caitlin Ison

My name is Caitlin, I am 22 years old, born and raised in Southern California. Like most of the human population, music is something that has played a very important role in my life. Writing about music allows me to share my fascination with artists and their work and their process of creating it. I attended the University of California, Irvine and I spent a lot of my time volunteering at the school's radio station, KUCI. This definitely expanded my love and knowledge for non-mainstream music. Outside of the music realm, I spend my time taking photos (concert photography being my favorite), practicing my calligraphy, and spending time with my family, friends, and dogs. I am definitely a home body but learning about different cultures, hobbies, foods, places, and the world around me all excite me.