Isabelle's Story: Caught Up To You

 “Caught Up to You”

                            How’s She know what’s going on in my head
                            What did she mean by those words?    
                            Was it the fight that made it alright or is it in all of us?
                            You play with my emotions like it’s a joke that I care 
                            But me without my senses, there’s nobody there.

                            Caught up, caught up, caught up to you
                            Caught up, caught up, caught up to you

                             What if I don’t want to run in your race
                             I’ve got my eye on the bigger picture
                             Are you ready for that pace? 
                             To copy’s the way, does that make it okay?
                              Here’s hoping original wins the day ,
                              Here’s hoping original wins the day 
                              Here’s hoping.
                              Caught up, caught up, caught up to you
                              Caught up, caught up, caught up to you                               
                              It’s just the way we are
                              It’s just the way we are
                            ©Dunlop/Henning/Harrison 2015

Hello,  Isabelle here, the other half of Combine the Victorious.  I’ve been busy with our store on Main St. in Vancouver for the past year and a half so I’ve not been on-line as much, but I have been out and about in the real world singing and having some brilliant conversations.

We've just posted another new song and here is the story behind “Caught Up to You”

During our writing time for Autonomous I’d started experimenting with coming into the store and voice recording any idea or sounds that were floating around in my head.  I’ve always found that songs help me process what’s going on around me and in my own head, so it’s starting to make sense that one can hear glimpses of songs in the flutter of a butterfly over your head or the hum of an engine beside you idling at a traffic light.

That particular day the inspiration came from a phone call.  Mark (Combine the Victorious) was working with his production partner and they were working with a few new female voices  and the challenge was thrown down for me to try and write a rap. Ha!!  Fully loaded up on a bit of jealousy, competitiveness and morning coffee I started to write out some words.  What did he even mean... write a rap???   This is what was brewing around my head that day: headlines, songs, and personal emotions, perfect for  a new idea!

I’d heard Lily Allen’s song “Sheesus” and it was on was on my mind.  What did she mean by those words?  She's the female Jesus, or is she just better than all the current gals on the charts? In the heat of the competition is it alright to imply such grand notions or maybe there’s a bit of jesus/good is in all of us; we are all molecules and energy after all right?

I’ve learned that when it comes to competition I just have to do my best and have the patience to let things unfold naturally.  Make the best design, hit the right note, let your work represent you, and any competition push you to actually do your best.  Jealousy is usually a wave that passes and lets you know how you genuinely feel about someone; use sparingly!

Back in 2012 Combine the Victorious played in Stockholm, Sweden as part of a little European tour at a place called Bonden Bar. The gig was great: perfect venue (walkable with our gear from the hotel), responsive audience and lots of dancing!  Afterwards there was an amazing sound and energy in the streets as we were walking back to the hotel with friends.  That chaotic energy resonated with us both and as soon as we got home from Europe Mark recorded a demo: “Damascus Cab.”

It was all only an instrumental for ages until “Caught Up to You” came along.  My poem/ rap idea found its music.  It didn’t matter that they weren’t written at the same time, what mattered was if the lyrics and timing fitted the groove and intent of the instrumental track.  I’m not sure if this method of song writing always works but it’s like Mark wove all the separate elements and bonded them together, as though it happened spontaneously to make something much bigger !

Basically “Caught Up to You” is for me:

1. Emotionally about growing up.. shedding those annoying patterns that I fall back on when I need to grow... worth the effort. 
2. Right place right time...  right lyric, right music
3. BRILLIANT to dance to... just try it loud

Songs are amazing that way, they seem to help process the thoughts and ideas that are around us all the time; an unknown therapist to your life.  It was a cover of I Can See Clearly Now by Hothouse Flowers  that was my best friend as I made the journey from Scotland to Canada  at 21.  

The line “you play with my emotions like it’s a joke that I care" references those annoying paranoid thoughts when someone’s happily winding you up and doesn’t care if you crack.  It’s all part of growing up, figuring out who is genuinely helping you out or those that manipulate you for their own end.  If I can rise above the situation for a moment I can usually realize how I actually feel and deal with the situation a bit more rationally rather than ridiculously emotionally.

"To copy's the way, does that make it ok?"  In Fashion copying ideas is all part of the process: as soon as a  designer has a fashion show their designs are being sketched and replicated in a factory perhaps only hours later.  Usually by that  point the designer has already moved onto their next collection, ready to let go after months deliberating over every decision about each separate garment and accessory.  So perhaps it’s all just part of the natural cycle?  However "here's hoping original wins the day" is still my personal feeling on that issue.  

It’s honestly amazing getting your thoughts out on paper and into a song or making a piece of clothing from a flat bit of fabric.  Creativity really re-energizes me and I hope you get a chance to listen to our song,  it’s worth it.

Until next time, must go sew a dress.


p.s.  also just want to give a big thanks to Don Harrison for his excellent and funky guitar playing on this song.  It was the final piece of the puzzle that pulled everything together and gave it the sound of our new album Autonomous!  


  1. Love it, both the background and the song!


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