Vic Allen - Suitcase / Confetti
With enough singles behind her to make a "Best Of" album that would shame many littering the current charts, here comes Vic Allen with two more high quality entries, that go to show why she is probably our most prolific releaser of top quality singles. With particular attention played to backing vocals and the smallest of musical details, her work is always vibrant and captivating
Anyone who has seen Vic Allen play will be familiar with her restless urge to travel, it's a theme that has appeared throughout her releases "Bittersweet" forinstance from the debut "Between The Lines" EP is effectively a travel song of sorts. One would imagine lockdown as being particularly stressful for someone with such a wanderlust and the result of that may be the realisations that materialise in this single.
"Suitcase" starts with a bright uptempo acoustic guitar and Vic thinking of being elsewhere
"If I let my eyes lose focus
I can pretend this ain't my town
Dirty windows, rushing past grey sky
Turning into New York City crowds
Wish that I was there right now"
As the song develops, so does the sound palette, a piano chord or two, some atmospherics and backing vocals that swirl around elusively staying out of reach but adding to the overall effect.
Travel is everything to Vic, her past present and future all rolled into one
"Sometimes I catch myself thinking about a place I left behind"
The simple joys to be had from the wonder of travel, place, people experiences that free us from the hum drum day to day existence, that can be recalled and relived.
"A perfect golden time - replaying in my mind"
The chorus when it arrives is Vic vocally at her most confident the passion in what she is singing really coming through
"Wish I could be anywhere, anywhere but here
I'd be just fine if I could just disappear
I'm restless when my worlds stuck in the same place
I think my heart lives in a suitcase"
Percussion joins the song giving it even more urgency, which is matched by Vic's escalating singing. We mentioned earlier about the tiniest of sonic details, and there is a lovely little piano break buried deep in the mix. If it wasn't there we may not even have noticed it was missing and yet like an artist at the easel who has just added a small daub of colour, it being there somehow makes the song even more perfect.
A finale of multiple backing vocals finishes off what not only could well be Vic's best release to date but one that seems certain to figure in our best of year selections - it is hard to stop playing it.
Suitcase will be released Nov 4th
Released a few months earlier with little publicity is "Confetti" which shows a completely different side to Vic. This is again considered songwriting with a soundscape mainly consisting of a just a piano as Vic lays down a heartbreaking honest vocal.
It's a liason that ends with the words
""I'll leave in the morning
So please don't fall in love"
Always easier said than done and made all the worse when you know something good is slipping through your fingers.
"When I told I was fine boy I was lying!
Cos I don't think I've felt this way before"
There are small songwriter touches that elevate this song, just look at how Vic leads the listener back to the chorus each time slightly differently, and then how the choruses are delivered on each occasion. With the latter choruses all but a duet, with a male voice in the background - this is a classic of another type for the "Vic Allen Collection" and the piano may well provide a new outlet for Vic's undoubted talents.