New single Golden Gai is the latest release from former The Carnabys frontman Jack Mercer. The single is a wonderful piece of cinematic soul that carries a dark undercurrent with classic organ sounds and towering harmonies underpinning Mercer’s vocals. Following on from the February release of single Drowning Lessons and a cover of The Pixies’ classic Where Is My Mind, Golden Gai sees Mercer drawing on real life experience.
“Golden Gai was drawn from a time on tour in Tokyo. Me and the bassist were ushered into this lift on the street and told about a club at the top… The doors opened and we stepped out into a massage parlor with the lights off and no one in it. Doors were locked, we nearly had our money stolen and these two women were screaming at us but hey, we lived to tell the tale, and I lived to turn it into a song.”
VC Pines sees Mercer move away from the Indie-Rock sound of The Carnabys, immersing himself in the alternative soul, poetry and punk performance influences closer to his heart. Raised on a diet of Richard Hell, The Stranglers, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave as well as Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, Otis Redding Sly & The Family Stone, Mercer became involved in the Northern Soul/Mod scene as a teenager. Heavily influenced by the poetic works of John Cooper Clarke and Gil Scott Heron, these disparate influences culminate in the musical output of VC Pines.
With the VC standing for Violet Colored Pines, Mercer has the condition synaesthesia, in which neural networks allow senses to cross over. For him, this is a symptom of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and means that he hears sounds and sees colours at the same time.
“When I was a child I was taken to Wolfeboro in North America with all these massive Pine trees and stuff. I hardly remember any of it, but sometimes if I have a seizure or episode I feel I can remember being there again and I can see these huge trees in my head. All of this has been a huge influence on how I write and think, and how I am.”
Mercer has built a formidable live reputation, honing his performing skills over four years touring with The Carnabys. This reputation has carried over into VC Pines’ 7-peice line up, with two electrifying, high energy shows at Notting Hill Arts Club and London’s The Social under their belt.
Single Golden Gai is available on streaming services now. See below on how to connect with VC Pines.
Connect with VC Pines