Jack Mercer is VC Pines, the one time frontman of hotly tipped London act The Carnabys who has become even more hotly tipped as a solo artist.
While the London outfit dealt in indie guitar-based musical wares, our BA Songwriting alumnus is ploughing a different creative furrow of his own, employing classic songwriting but augmented with brass, organ and large dollops of soul.
Inspired by the likes of Jeff Buckley, The Alabama Shakes and Talking Heads, Jack’s music and profile have been steadily picking up pace over the year, thanks in part to linking with legendary indie imprint, Fierce Panda (responsible for early releases from Coldplay, Placebo, Supergrass and many more) as well as his raw talent.
His 'Indigo' EP has seen him played on BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 1, perform at the Social, the Notting Hill Arts Club and sell out London's Lexington.
Commenting in our recent interview about what led him to study with us, Jack said:
I had been doing gigs in local pubs for a while and had always loved writing and performing music, so decided to fully commit and pursue it. That’s when I found ICMP and auditioned. Getting out of a monotonous schedule was really refreshing, as well as learning things I’d never learnt before."
His latest release is ‘Bones', another rich slice of alternative indie soul released via Fierce Panda. The track is the first from his upcoming second EP, which is set for release in early 2020. The EP has a colour-coded theme, with Jack exploring his synaesthesia through the songs.
Describing the EP, Jack said: "I found out what synaesthesia was during a lecture at music college, when the lecturer seemed to be describing how my brain worked. I always thought that that's how everyone saw the world and that various senses were triggered by certain things and that's just how we lived. Then when I realised that wasn't the case, and that I had something different, I started to use it as a tool."
The track has been well received with great reviews and BBC Radio 1 recently making it their Track of the Week while Sound On Sound Magazine also featured him on its cover.
Catch VC Pines on tour in 2020 at a string of live UK shows in April 2020, including Brighton's Prince Albert (1st), London's Omeara (2nd), Leeds' Oporto (16th) and Bristol's Crofters Rights (24th.)
Visit VC Pines' Facebook page to find out more.