"Right new music now from VC Pines, if you like Jamie T, or you like Ezra Collective, or James Blake, I think you are gunna like this tune, it's called Dangling, VC Pines." CLARA AMFO, BBC RADIO 1
"VC Pines just keeps getting better and better with every new track he releases" JACK SAUNDERS, BBC RADIO 1
"VC Pines, something very special going on here" HUW STEPHENS, BBC RADIO 1
"A smooth and mellow slice of indie magic, with a jagged edge in its lyricism detailing disempowerment and loneliness, "Running" acts as both an intersection of sounds and influences, as well as a new direction for VC Pines." THE LINE OF BEST FIT
""Dangling" is the singer-songwriter's latest single. Free-falling through outbursts of loneliness and social anxiety, the track's punctuated by Pines' charmingly truthful lyricism. Tied together by his vocal idiosyncrasies, it touches many cornerstones of the 28-year-old's influences, from sonorous electronica to poetically delivered punk. A whirlpool of emotion, the tune is more calculated than previous tracks, allowing him to tell his story more expansively than ever before". NOTION
"Soul Pioneer" WONDERLAND
"Songs that speak of self-doubt and self-reliance in a constantly fluctuating world, it's perfect for these anxiety inducing times" CLASH
"His tunes are huge, emotional stories that have the power to both devastate and reassure" DORK MAGAZINE
Following on from the enormous support for his recently unveiled singles "Dangling", "Running", and "Colours", the latter which was recently performed as part of the BBC's coverage of Glastonbury this year, VC Pines now continues the support for his eagerly-awaited debut album 'MRI' with the herculean new offering "SUPERMAN".
Continuing to explore more of that broad and immersive direction he has become synonymous with lately, "SUPERMAN" adds another shimmering layer to his already impressive run of releases. Expanding on his internal thoughts of self-sabotage and achieving personal growth, a concurrent theme for this new full-length, this sweeping new entry highlights some of the more lesser known experiences surrounding anxiety and doubt.
Speaking about the new offering, he said, "'SUPERMAN' is about biting off more than you can chew and self sabotage. There are people in your life who mean more to you than life itself, but you let things get in the way, and you lose sight of what's important, until it's too late... It's also very easy to promise more to those you love, than you can deliver. So you live in this constant state of feeling like you've let everyone down, which is a dark dark place.
"I wrote this song with two mates who I've known for years. They recently started renting a studio in Dalston, but only have it at night times, so this was written and produced at around 3am under Stoke Newington high street.
"I've recently started working on my FOMO - Since writing this, I realised that I was saying yes to EVERYTHING and then being exhausted for, or missing the things that really mattered. I think that's what happens when I write, a lot of it is my subconscious, and I only realise how I've been feeling until the song is finished."
VC Pines is also planning an extensive run of headline shows - tickets on sale - having just capped off an HERE incredibly busy festival season which saw him perform at The Great Escape, Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Rock Oyster Festival, Altitude Festival, Valley Fest, Boardmasters amongst others.
ABOUT VC PINES / MRI
VC Pines (Violet Coloured Pines) is Jack Mercer, the smart, articulate alt-soul singer-songwriter whose gripping tales of love, loss and late nights in London keep growing in depth and sophistication. After acclaimed EPs Concrete (2021), Skully (2020) and Indigo (2019), Jack's ready to release his first VC Pines album, which tells the tale of "someone struggling with mental health, juggling relationships, friendships, addictions and emotions, while being a creative person."
MRI is 10 songs that aren't trapped in obvious labels and categories, an album that's in some ways an easy listen, yet displaying a depth and breadth most of his peers can't match. The tyranny of the playlist can be a prison for artists, but Jack's determined to furrow his own path, somewhere in the alternative hazy meadows between r&b, indie and soul. He put the album together over a year, from autumn to autumn, finally in full creative control, running in and out of studios with a variety box of producers, each with their own twist on VC Pines, going wherever the muse called.
MRI, of course, is magnetic resonance imaging - the almost-magical medical technique that scans your body with magnets, searching for evidence. You'll hear its implacable, eerie yet weirdly comforting pulse on the album's scene-setting opener, Chamber. "You have the juxtaposition of a thing that feels like a seizure - depressing and warm but feels nice,” explains Jack, "with the sharpness from an MRI scan stitched into it."
Jack was 17 when he started having seizures. "I was panicking a lot about it. I thought it was me going mad. I got sent to a neurology department and had some [MRI] scans and got a [temporal lobe] epilepsy diagnosis."
"I thought epilepsy meant light sensitivity, but that's only 3% of epileptic cases. I get triggered by memories and sense, so I have synaesthesia linked to my epilepsy - I’ll associate letters, numbers, sounds or chords with a colour which ties to an emotion. So if I'm writing or producing a song I'll feel like this is definitely green, or this verse is purple. In my mind's eye, I'm seeing a cloud or haze of colour. Some people have synaesthesia where they hear something and see a hallucination, a shooting of colour across the room. I don't have that, but my favourite moments are purple in my head."
Finally, Jack's life made a little more sense following the diagnosis. His mum reminded him that he would have odd little spells as a kid where he complained of feeling funny but could never work out why. That persisted into his teens, and what would turn out to be a serious neurological condition got confused with normal teenage exploits - he had no idea his brain worked differently to most people.
"At the time [my epilepsy] definitely was mixed up with drugs and drink," Jack says. "So after my diagnosis I calmed a lot of that down, but it's still in my life." New song Damn Different digs into the toxicity and temporary nature of relationships based on intoxicants. Of course, Jack’s not as reckless as he was when he was a teenager.
"I've started telling myself nothing good happens after 3am!" he laughs. But living in a city like London, for a storyteller like Jack, means a trove of experiences to seek out, the biggest mirror possible to see yourself in, indelible memories to be made. And having that creative spark is something which has always kept him tethered to reality.