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VC PINES Shares Groovy Single ‘Be Honest’

Symbolising the beginning of a new musical era for VC Pines, this track embodies his pandemic-induced introspection and determination.

VC Pines 2021

With the help of seven-piece band The Violet Collective, VC Pines, also known as Jack Mercer, blends a delicious mix of alternative soul, punk and poetic lyricism to create his unique and distinctive sound. His music is pure, cathartic glory.

After the notable success of his EP Concrete, which was the musical result of VC Pines being locked down in the capital last year, his latest offering Be Honest is a more optimistic depiction of his personal experiences and mental state. Heightened by the fantastic array of accompanying instruments, Be Honest is a euphoric number which immerses you in VC Pines’ gorgeous vocal quirks and harmonies.

VC Pines shares:

‘Be Honest’ is a culmination of things, it was written towards the end of 2020 – the year of fuckery. So the beginning has this distrust and wariness I think we all had at the time. I wanted to convey my own mental health struggles and of those around me due to these strange, uncertain and lonely times. The tune explodes into this ‘no fucks given’ feeling “now I’m just drinking, sleep on park benches in my vomit” that boils and spills over into a sense of paranoia “street lights are blinking, whispering in code have I lost it? Be Honest.” I’d definitely been burning the candle at both ends when this song formed, so I think it’s a small yelp for help but at the same time, encompasses the nervousness of the youth of this country. Working on this with Tobie Tripp was dreamy, we really focused on every layer, from BV’s to brass to flute and then he sprinkled his magic string playing on top. It has this meatiness to it, but because each layer is so in and out, it has this child-like ‘dares’ quality to it which I love.

Be Honest is merely a blissful taste of what is to come from VC Pines though, as the pandemic has heightened his passion and need for a creative outlet. He elaborates on his forthcoming sound:

I’ve definitely taken a more alternative direction, focusing more on contemporary and unique sounds and pairing them with soulful vocals. I love working with huge contrasts, so for me, using sounds as imagery as a way to paint a modern picture, paired with the occasional ‘classic’ instrument such as trombone or rusty xylophones, and a classic soul voice is a perfect juxtaposition. It all starts with writing a great song on one instrument, and then doing the best I can to fuck with it using influences from Childish Gambino, Glass Animals, Oliver Malcolm and Kanye West producing a blend of London traffic with Hip Hop grooves and soulful melodies.

Starting at the end of February and running until mid-March, VC Pines’ UK tour will be taking place in 2022 and tickets are on sale now.


24 – Dublin, Upstairs Whelans

26 – Glasgow, King Tut’s


02 – Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club

03 – Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge

04 – Nottingham, Rough Trade

05 – Bristol, Louisiana

08 – Brighton, Hope & Ruin

09 – London, Jazz Cafe