New Music from Christopher Vincent
Christopher Vincent’s debut solo single might come as a bit of a surprise to people who know him mostly or only as the frontman for the irrepressibly exuberant band Qiet.
“Everything Keeps Going” is a departure in terms of recorded output for Vincent. Loyal fans will recognize the longstanding style of his solo work, while new listeners can expect something very much in the vein of Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, or Iron and Wine, with a generous touch of Joni Mitchell in Vincent’s impeccable diction and phrasing. If these comparisons suggest an artist in full control of both his vocals and his playing, know that is every bit Christopher Vincent.
Vincent’s solo work exposes the singer’s vulnerability in a way that Qiet seldom does. It makes sense then that the song catalog has only a slight overlap. Watching Vincent play by himself, you are not going to hear a bunch of unplugged Qiet songs. Rather, the solo performances are intimate, low-key affairs, and the songs match this tone.
“Everything Keeps Going” is a meditation on life and mortality. That’s common enough within singer-songwriter music; however, unlike many entries in that cannon, this song is supported entirely by a skeleton of gratitude and resolve. Vincent embraces life’s cycle of death and rebirth with open arms:
“So, when I die, sell my shit
Smoke my weed and burn down my house With me in it
Something will call it home after the end.”
Philosophy is often key to Vincent’s lyrics with Qiet, so it’s no surprise that it is central to his solo work as well. The song represents stoic ideals that Seneca or Marcus Aurelius would recognize immediately. Vincent sings about a perspective on life that forgoes guilt or resentment and embraces change, even that final change we all face. “Everything Keeps Going” offers spirituality without religion, rebirth without superstition. It is, ultimately, a modern secular hymn filled with grace and love.
The song sounds relatively simple, though the performance is excellent and moving. The touch of bird song suggests a classic alternate version of John Lennon’s “Across the Universe,” which is fitting given that both songs dwell on a similar meditative embrace of peace. The accompanying video similarly compliments “Everything Keeps Going” with a slow fade from black and white to full color, an effect that perfectly captures the process of gradual enlightenment that all beings face: We mature in this life or we remain unfulfilled, in perpetual black and white.
Vincent’s “Everything Keeps Going” single stands on its own and is an exceptionally strong effort. I, for one, cannot wait to see what is still to come from this artist.
Watch the video, here:
And don't forget to see Qiet at the Huntington Music & Arts Festival this weekend, along with Tyler Childers, William Matheny, Hello June, Holly & The Guy, Tim Bornwing & the Widowmakers, The Dividends, and so many other great, local artists.