All in White- The Vaccines

So this is a brief break from the usual poetry posts. This is actually a random rant, which this blog was originally intended for. Recently, a friend introduced me to this amazing new world of Indie Rock music by a british band called ‘The Vaccines’. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them or not, but they’re amazing. I have a very varied taste when it comes to music. I tend to like most genres. But more than the actual genre, I focus on the song, regardless of if its Rock or Trance or Mainstream Pop. If I like the song, the genre is irrelevant to me. As for the song, because I don’t focus on only one aspect such as the beat or the lyrics, my tastes tend to be rather subjective. There are times when I adore trance. For example, as strange as it sounds, to focus more when I study, I listen to trance and when I write essays, I listen to Classical Symphonies for the same reason. However, when it does come to the lyrics, I am rather picky. I tend to stay clear of the Taylor Swift love ballads. I generally like the more depressing dark music- Within Temptation and other such bands. Occasionally though, I do like the mainstream pop songs. If I do like a song though, I end up listening to the same song on repeat over and over, until I finally do get bored of that particular song. However, this is not to discuss my musical tastes today. This is to discuss my latest obsessions.

The first one is my latest obsession- ‘All in White’ by The Vaccines.

First of all, the beat of the song is absolutely gorgeous. Then, there is the matter of the absolutely hypnotic voice of Jay Jay Pistolet. Once you do get over all of that, which I assure you, will take quite some time, comes the matter of the absolutely brilliant lyrics.

The first stanza itself caught my absolute attention when I heard the following lines:

Tout me, doubt me, show me all of your power
I will watch you rise on my back from the ground
Friend or foe?
I don’t know

As such, these sound to be such reassuring lines. The fact that he would let the person simply show him all their power and capabilities while lying on the ground and watching them rise is something only and only a true friend would do. In an attempt to reassure the friend, they would allow them to show their full and absolute abilities. That would not be interpreted as boasting though. It would be a simple show case of abilities. Sometimes, even the most confident of people doubt their own abilities and thus, it feels nice to have someone watch them. That is what the first two lines translate to me. Then comes the ‘Friend or foe? I don’t know’. The very fact that he still doubts if the person is a friend or foe is something we all have done at least once in our lives. The world has 7.1 billion people. Naturally, not everyone would get along. Moreover, sometimes, I tend to feel exceedingly lonely in a room filled with people. Therefore, its hard to establish human connections with people, more so these days because deception and manipulation seem to be the current trend. Hence, I personally did connect with the lyrics and his confusion when he admits that he doesn’t know if this person is a friend or a foe.

Then, there is the chorus.

“Show we ‘low quotations
Have you earned your stripes?
Fabricate salvation
Lord, I know your type
I’ve known you all my life
I was always wrong, you all in white”

I absolutely am in love with the line ‘Have you earned your stripes?’. Stripes, according to me would translate to bravery. The bravest of the soldiers are awarded stripes by their respective governments for exceptional acts of bravery shown on the battlefield. Then, there is my favorite line of the entire song: ‘Fabricate salvation’. It is one of the most gorgeous phrases I have ever heard. If you can’t achieve true salvation, simply fabricate it. Or maybe, at one point of your life, you will wake up to realize that what you thought was salvation never was salvation to begin with. You simply fabricated it to make yourself feel better. We all have done that at some point of our lives. When things get really bad, don’t we always look at the positives? That is the fabrication of salvation. That phrase can be interpreted in so many different ways. Its such a gorgeous phrase and I absolutely adore the song because of it. I think its time that I admit that I slightly do obsess over the song because of the phrase.

As for the last three lines, when he finally realizes that he’s always known this person his life, it translates to the fact that this person has always been by his side no matter what. Is it a lover, a friend, a family member? Who knows? That is for the listener to interpret. The only hint he gives is the fact that he idolizes this person,  by raising them to the pedestal of an angel, through the phrase ‘all in white’. Hence, this person is clearly a very significant influence in his life and come to think of it, we all have at least one person like that in our lives.

‘Oh my god, I think I’m hearing double’

That line, to me translates to deception and manipulation. Every single person has two faces. The fact that he is hearing double could mean that he  is being tricked and at this point, the importance of a friend becomes all the more important.

‘I don’t know now you’re up in the stars

But I will one day shine with you
I’ll shine on a faithful few

The fact that the person is ‘up in the stars’ clearly indicates that who ever this is, happens to be dead now. They always do say that once a person dies their best qualities are highlighted by the people who miss them the most. It is their way of copping with the sudden change. However, his optimism in ‘shine with you’ indicates that one day, he hopes to be reunited with whoever this is and he will continue to wish for this. The reason he wishes to ‘shine’ is to influence  a select few, just the way this person influenced his life.

I have found that most of the songs of The Vaccines tend to have a rather nostalgic tone to them. They are very self-reflective and touching really. Off course, the lyrics play a very important part in creating this effect. However, the other reason this effect is created is because of the way it is sung.  Pistolet’s voice holds that raspy, almost vintage quality people tend to associate with the past. His almost hypnotic voice commands absolute attention of the listener, along with the rrather addictive background. However, the maximum effect is achieved when the song falls from its crescendo, ebbing towards the end. The background song seems to fade away, leaving his voice only. The tone becomes slower, drawing more attention to his voice. It emphasizes the message of the song further, almost haunting the listener in their mind. That is when he sing:

‘Lord, I know your type
I’ve known you all my life
I was always wrong, you all in white’

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