Track-by-Track: Miss Vincent

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Having really enjoyed their latest release Somewhere Else, UK rockers Miss Vincent took us on a track-by-track journey through the EP’s five tracks…Over to you, guys!

“If there’s a common theme in the EP, it’s the title. The most direct reference lyrically is “I’d rather be somewhere else” in Beauty in Darkness, but there’s something that points to it in every song. Dreaming of somewhere you’d rather be, disenchanted by where you are both figuratively and literally, and the ability and escapism that music gives you to be transported into a different headspace are all different interpretations of the title. That said, the EP isn’t about running away: far from it. A lot of it is self encouragement to invest in those around me, and also in myself.

Cold Hands: This was the last song we wrote for the EP. I’d had the ideas for it floating around forever, and one day they all just came together: there was a lot of back and forth about it, and we even tried a different chorus at one point, but after demoing it we made a few small changes that really transformed it. I love the organ at the start, because it eases you in to the EP a bit before everything kicks in. The chorus is probably the most pop thing we’ve got on record, but I love the way it pairs with the verse to give two sides of the same situation. In the verses, the focus is far more on the idea that sadness is such a habit forming experience: that is to say, when you’re sad a lot, it becomes your first reaction to everything, something to fall back on. It’s a little like the opposite of a safety net. But then in the chorus, there’s this almost frantic determination to carry on: that despite what you face, despite the fact you’ve lost all your innocence and see things for how shitty they are, and despite the fact you have a ways to go, you gotta keep on keepin’ on. Musically, I love the aggression of the fast verses going up against the driving downstrokes of the chorus, even if they are a bit of an arm ache to play live.

The Lovers: This is a love song. Crazy, right? I got the name from my fascination with The Lovers of Valdaro, which is this famous pair of skeletons that were buried in an embrace. The song is a pretty fundamental look at love between two people, and it tied in with what I found so interesting with this pair. What’s their story? Everyone knows that they were buried together, which is a beautiful way to spend eternity. But love isn’t always a nice experience. There’s a real darkness to it.
The issue with loving someone is that it makes you think and feel irrationally, which at times can be hugely romantic, but at others it can make you feel like you’re losing your mind. I don’t like to single out lyrics, because my favourite thing to do is to find my own meaning in songs rather that have them explained to me, but “Hope is a poisonous drug, so let’s go get high and give up” was such a catalyst for this song. I’d recently read Tamerlane by Edgar Allen Poe, as well as Annabelle Lee: there’s even a reference to that in “Annabelle got taken above, the Gods got jealous of our love”, and these two really informed the feeling behind the song. Mixed in with all of that, though, is that you can’t control love: you can’t change the past or predict the future, and so the best way is to love without limits.

Lost and Forgotten: The title is probably a bit of a giveaway on this one. This song is about feeling left behind. So much of popular culture leaves me cold: I don’t get it, and a lot of the ways that people communicate seem to be completely diluted. It’s about being on the outside of the conversation, almost being alienated from somewhere you’re supposed to belong and be welcomed. And with that feeling comes a sense that you’re dragging other people down with you: I don’t want other people to feel like that, and that’s where the “save yourself while you can” line in the chorus comes from. This is the first time on the EP that some of the themes from our last EP (2015’s Reasons Not To Sleep) bleed over. I dislike it when people use their problems to market their music, because even though it’s part of you I feel like it should be brought to light in a constructive manner: but I have a lot of problems with myself and I do deal with a lot of it by putting pen to paper.
That said, the bridge of this chorus is the more constructive element. “We are the dissidents, despondent but still alive” sums the whole song up pretty well. There’s a real sense of determination: no matter how alienated you feel there are always people that feel just like you. You just have to find them, share your fears, and grow from it. Come back stronger. Never let yourself be defined by the things that get you down.

Beauty in Darkness: Continuing on from the last song, this one is very much in the same vein with a more introverted approach. It’s about being trapped within yourself, and feeling like you can’t break out of that. Some days, you literally feel like your bed is a ten-metre hole in the ground that’s swallowed you up.
But again, the story of the song is far more positive than the title and the initial feeling of it suggests. The chorus here is a real shot in the arm, a reminder that you are not defined by those moments of paralysis. “I’m down but not out just yet, destroying everything that’s left around” might seem a little contradictory on the surface, but it’s that sense of purging yourself and everything around you of negativity and focusing on moving forward. It’s a sentiment that wrote itself into the bridge of this song too: “I’d rather be somewhere else” was written before we chose the title, and is such a key point in the EP, but it’s what follows that is the bit that makes it make sense. If something in your life is making you feel that way, leave it behind you.

The Western Shore: This song came from a chorus that Lawrie had written, and the rest of it came from a conversation we’d had that immediately preceded the first time he played it to me. I’d been wandering through the city looking at people and wondering whether they really experienced things in the same capacity that I do, not to say that one way of living is in any way superior to another, because whatever makes people happy; but I saw people that looked like they were trudging from birth to grave without ever questioning what’s around them or opening themselves up to a true level of self awareness. They just seemed like zombies. I’d been watching a lot of The Walking Dead around that time, and so when Lawrie came out with “we are alone in the city of the dead” something just went off in my head. He’d also been talking about going for a drive down to the shore in Southampton where he lives, and “let’s get out this place once and for all, and take a drive down to the western shore” sort of appeared in my head. The song is about getting out normality to gain some perspective, and like a lot of the rest of the EP, investing in those around you to keep you grounded.

Miss Vincent will be playing two EP release shows, on 26th May at Joiners in Southampton, and upstairs at The Garage, London, on 5th June.


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