It was a friend of a friend. A naive friend of a friend, at that. 

He was enjoying a night out at a strip club complete with a private room and a girl he felt sincerely liked him. 

Then the bill came. He owed $2,000. 

As the story passed down to Vince Palmeri, the singer-songwriter thought, “He just paid her rent.” A variation of that line would become the chorus of his latest single, “RENT,” which is one of five songs from his upcoming EP.

The idea was shelved for a few years as Palmeri worked through a more pop-centric sound for 2023’s No Angels EP and 2024’s Holding On For Life EP. But as he moves toward a glam-rock style reminiscent of the 80s, he says it was time to revive the story and embellish it to fit his new sound. 

The first few seconds of “RENT” may take you back to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Both songs share the same tempo and stomping beat.  

“That song to me is its own genre of strip club rock,” Palmeri says.  

Who else fits into the category of “strip club rock?”

According to Palmeri, it’s the likes of Mötley Crüe and Whitesnake. “You're picturing the girl on top of the car — that kind of aesthetic is what I wanted to really capture with the sound, the production, the lyrics and do my own modern take on it.”

This glam-rock style is new for Palmeri. His creative process was different this time around, too. He wanted to independently work through the early stages of the production process before bringing anything to his producers.  

Photograph by Pete Cho / @petechosen.

“When I set out to write this new project, I was like, ‘I want to do every song on my own first. I want to produce the demo,’” Palmeri says. “I sat down in my apartment on my own, put my headphones on, built a little guitar riff, built a beat around it and started freestyling that way.”

This personal approach made this Palmeri's favorite record to make so far, he said.

Guitarist Max Steger replaced the demo guitar that Palmeri had put together on his laptop to add more depth to the sound. 

“We could replace the shitty, computerized Logic guitar loops with actual guitar parts that are layered and have nuance,” Palmeri says.

Palmeri’s producers contributed to the song from there.

Independent Singer-Songwriter Vince Palmeri on His Upcoming EP
The six-track project drops in January

Palmeri’s early involvement in production wasn’t the only change to his creative process. This time around, Palmeri channeled a character — a gritty, rock star persona. 

“I'm tapping into parts of myself that I want to be — parts of myself that I wish came through more in terms of the boldness, the confidence, the sexiness. The whole rock star mentality."

That persona should be evident on the next single from the project. The song, “INSOMNIATIC,” has a dirty, gritty synth bass line. 

“It's like if Lady Gaga and Charli XCX had a baby with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe,” Palmeri says. 

“INSOMNIATIC” is expected to release later this month, with the EP coming at the end of summer. 

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