The Way We Get By: Faith Vern (PINS) Finds Iggy Pop’s Free To Be a Nice Escape.

The frontwoman talks what freedom really means now.

I’ve been listening to Free by Iggy Pop because — well, first and foremost, it’s called “Free.” Very of the moment, a nice escape. But I suppose the egotistical side of me may have chosen it because I feature on the one of the songs. So I don’t know whether I love the album because of that reason or if I just think it’s a really good record, but I truly fell in love with it either way. 

That’s the first time that’s happened in the past few years, actually — there’s not been any records that I wanted to listen to from start to finish. I actually really like Orville Peck’s album, and Songs For Our Mothers by Fat White Family, but apart from that, I was struggling to think of any. Of course I stream songs all the time by different artists, but I don’t just listen to a full album as it’s meant to be. But this Iggy Pop record is one of the few. 

It’s got a lot of spoken word, which breaks it up. It starts off with a track called “Free,” which is a really short spoken word piece; it’s Iggy’s voice, which of course you can’t help but want to hear what he’s got to say as soon as he starts speaking. He actually says, “I want to be free,” and it sounds like he really means it. It got me thinking: What is freedom about? I really think we were all taking it for granted. It feels like our freedom has been taken away — of course for our own safety, et cetera, et cetera. But just looking at it from the perspective of, before, being allowed to go out and do whatever you wanted to do, live your life, and now being told to stay home, not go to shops or see your friends — I think it’s something we’re all thinking about and questioning. Did we really have it so good before? Now that we know what it’s like to not have it. 

It’s one of those records that I think will change over time. I remember in the late ‘90s when I was a child, there was a song by Baz Luhrmann called “Everybody’s Free,” and my friend’s mum started to cry just at the lyrics. We didn’t really understand why she was crying, but that memory stayed with me. With this record, I might not fully understand what he’s saying yet. but, you know, he’s wise — as I age, I think the words that he’s saying might take on a different meaning. I might reflect on them a bit differently as I get more mature. It’s good to accept that you don’t know everything yet. That’s how I feel when I’m listening to this album: Maybe I don’t quite understand what he’s saying, but I will. 

The coronavirus has hit many people financially, and it’s been especially tough on musicians who rely on touring to support themselves. If you’re able and inclined, check out PINS’s Bandcamp and order a T-shirt, some vinyl, or whatever they’ve got on offer. Every little bit helps.

(Photo Credit: left, Debbie Ellis)

PINS is a post-punk trio from Manchester. Their latest album, Hot Slick, is out May 29 via HAUS OF PINS.

(Photo Credit: Debbie Ellis)