This is an account of ‘Pink Mirror’, the second album by UK singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin, by myself, Jeremy Tuplin. I don’t intend to provide any absolute or dictatorial interpretation of the songs on the album, or the record as a whole, as I would never want to do that, but I’m happy to shed some light on the thought processes and ideas that led to them, and it, having kindly been asked to by mySoundposter.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
Perceptions and interpretations of a single entity from two different people, let alone an entire planet’s worth of population, can vary to extraordinarily wild degrees. Fragrance, or an aroma, the appeal of poetry, coriander, the colours of that dress that gripped the internet a few years ago (white & gold by the way). The shape of the fucken globe. Most of this is all completely reasonable – no one is able to deduce an absolute representation of our “reality”, whatever that means, we just form a picture of it based on information we receive through the miraculous wonder of our own, each unique and very particular, minds.
Most of these pictures are very similar, albeit and also due to, being framed by such stuff as history books, culture, and the laws of physics, but when they differ it is fascinating, and it is equally fascinating on an individual level when in relation to something that you have personally created. And that brings me onto my new album ‘Pink Mirror’.
A lot of the time when I finish writing a song I cast my mind over it and think something like ‘yes that is what this means, and this is what that intends, and it is clear’; although of course certain lines have intentionally dual meanings and so on and so forth.
Obviously my sense of clarity is only due to the creation having been spewed out through the specific, pink-hued prism of my own mind – it would be strange, perhaps good strange, if it were different – but I honestly love it when people interpret my songs differently or in a way that I hadn’t initially intended or even conceived. I think that’s what music is for to a certain extent, to mean certain things to people, and for it to be left for the audience to decipher, and to judge for that matter, and for each listener to take from it whatever they choose to, even if that means eschewing the lyrics altogether.
Nevertheless, I’ve been asked to write about the new album, and have agreed, and so I’ve got to write about something, and I am going to indulge in it because I may never be asked to do so again. So in an intentionally obscure confession, here are one or two thoughts on Pink Mirror:
Firstly, there’s not a lot of what I write about that stems from perfectly conscious thought. I rarely sit down and think ‘ok this is what I’m going to write a song about’ or at least have it end up anywhere near that pre-conceived target by the time it is finished.
Often starting with a single line or primitive notion it then jumps through hoops, in and out of tortured moments of reflection, unforeseen twists; different, sometimes contradicting ideas arriving at unexpected times, often at the very moment I’m about to fall asleep, or in social situations when I’m supposedly engaged in conversation – but you have an idea along the way of the direction you are pushing the song and where it is pulling you, whilst continually asking yourself something like ‘what and from where is this bizarre image that I have plucked and how and where does it fit into this picture?’
There are songs I’ve written, and they tend to be very linear, storytelling songs, where the opposite has been true and have been completed in one sitting, but for me it’s a rare thing, and not really the case for any of the songs on this album apart from maybe, to a certain extent, ‘The Beast’.
I don’t think it’s a secret, or at least I hope it isn’t, that in between many a personal moment interwoven, a lot of Pink Mirror’s songs, the eponymous clearly included, are social commentaries or songs where I adopt personas and play out characters in certain roles or situations.
‘Love’s Penitentiary’ and ‘Frankenstein’ are perhaps the clearest examples of those where somewhere along the creative process in both of them it became clear that they intended to be critiques of some kind toxic, predominantly male, behaviour, in a way that would poke fun and ridicule.
At the same time these characters are so human in their comical and pitiable flaws that I’d like to think it presents a challenge, or modicum of cognitive dissonance, in terms of how the listener is supposed to feel about them; even more so if they see something of themselves in the characters’ dastardly portrayals.
The social commentary form of song is an curious one as to simply box it up as ‘observational’ and therefore disconnected to one’s self would be slightly disingenuous and as well as an oversimplification.
I think in most cases where someone pens a song about a certain topic, or aims to embody something or someone else like many social commentaries do, they are projecting at least something about themselves into that song – be it their own experiences or positions, or more nebulously, some kind of extreme version of themselves.
I mention this in order to offer some form of sincerity, and also reasoning into the songwriting process – much, not all, of the imagery arrived from somewhere in the realm of the subconscious and was delivered to that realm from either the outside world, possibly from a collective consciousness, or from something within myself, or perhaps even from somewhere else. But whether I’m revealing something about myself or merely my position in opposition to the behaviours outlined in the songs, or both, is up to the listener, and how they choose to perceive or interpret them.
Anyway, I’m going to wrap this up here as it is quite possible that this is not as interesting as I thought it would be.
One final thing I would like to say is that for me, ‘Gaia‘ is the most important song on the record – a tribute to Earth and a takedown of humanity’s failure, or even its lack of desire, to live in harmony with its own planet, its only home. But what better legacy for a generation could there be other than to take the chance to safeguard the future for subsequent generations? I view it as a very positive thing to rebel against extinction.
Ok that’s it, thanks for reading, now go out and buy my record.
Jeremy Tuplin, Category: Artist, Albums: Pink Mirror, I Dreamt I Was an Astronaut, Singles: Humans, Pink Mirror, Bad Lover, Long Hot Summer, Albert Einstein Song, Top Tracks: Love’s Penitentiary, Pink Mirror, Bad Lover, Can We Be Strangers, Feel Good Hit, Biography: Jeremy Tuplin is a singer-songwriter from Somerset, now living in London.