New monitor “Operating” finds VC Pines, also referred to as Jack Mercer, in a second of introspection. While earlier work within the band The Carnabys inclined in direction of anthemic choruses ideally belted out in spit-and- sawdust indie venues, as a solo act VC Pines is a special beast; with heat, funk-driven guitar strains forming a bedrock to discover emotions of self-doubt. The undertaking is a aware transfer in direction of a mellower, extra alt-soul sound, underscored by wealthy manufacturing components and a easy falsetto.
“I’ve undoubtedly taken a extra various path, focusing extra on up to date and distinctive sounds and pairing them with soulful vocals,” he says of “Operating”. “I really like working with big contrasts, so for me, utilizing sounds as imagery as a solution to paint a contemporary image, paired with the occasional ‘traditional’ instrument akin to trombone or rusty xylophones, and a traditional soul voice, is an ideal juxtaposition.”
Regardless of the suave vocals and heat of the instrumentation, there’s nonetheless a jagged edge to the lyrics of “Operating”, while study emotions of isolation and disempowerment. Going it alone has additionally precipitated a extra experimental method, impressed partly by his relationship with epilepsy. Mercer has beforehand spoken about experiencing synaesthesia, heightened emotions of déjà vu, nostalgia, and a blurring of senses which over time has fed into the artistic course of.
The truth is, permitting completely different sounds and textures to seep collectively has been second nature to Mercer since childhood, when he would flit between the completely different genres of his dad’s intensive CD assortment. As a solo artist, he retains this multi-layered method: “All of it begins with writing a fantastic tune on one instrument, after which doing the perfect I can to fuck with it utilizing influences from Infantile Gambino, Glass Animals, Steve Lacy, Kendrick Lamar and King Krule, producing a mix of London site visitors with hip hop grooves and soulful melodies.x
London has additionally been an necessary cultural touchstone for Mercer, notably its darker, extra sordid aspect. “Operating” explores the unsettling sensation of getting a sprawling city metropolis for a playground, whereas nonetheless feeling nameless amongst its hordes. His 2021 EP Concrete centered on the town’s eerie after-hours atmosphere, ill-judged afterparties, and ominous encounters – a way of paranoia carried proper by to “Operating”.
He explains that finally “”Operating” is about loneliness, by no means feeling such as you actually match into a bunch of mates. individuals from completely different pockets of London who are likely to drift out and in of their lives each weekend after which disappear for some time? It is simpler to cover addictions from individuals as a result of nobody’s actually capable of control you.”
On first pay attention, “Operating” sounds just like the a part of an evening out earlier than issues flip bitter, a soundtrack for lowboy candles and delicate plumes of cigarette smoke – however there’s an undercurrent of dread acquainted to anybody who’s ever tried to maintain their head above water in a giant metropolis. No quantity of CCTV surveillance, VC Pines implies, can compensate for the sensation of getting somebody really be careful for you.