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Cate Tomlinson's "Pretty Boy" is a melancholic ballad with haunting vocals and heartbreaking lyrics

Singer-songwriter Cate Tomlinson brings listeners her new single pretty boy as the third single off of her upcoming EP Blueberry Season. Just when you thought you knew the extent of Tomlinson’s ability to pen a bittersweet anthem, pretty boy shows you another level of her skill, weaving intricate rhymes and breathtaking harmonies.

pretty boy is a progression from Cate’s previous singles and feels like her most personal music to date. Her lyrics are undeniably cathartic and candid–Tomlinson tells the story of a pretty boy who thinks she’ll be there for him no matter what.

pretty boy takes listeners to that place of debating their worth in a relationship. Are you deserving of someone honoring their commitments, trust, and just showing up? “He said he’s done screwing up and I believe him.” Tomlinson’s ballad shows a longing to trust that someone will live up to their word despite their continuous shortcomings.

Closing with a big Taylor Swift-esc bridge, Tomlinson sings:

“Once bitten, twice shy, but pretty boy gets one more try, forgiven this time, he’ll leave but I’ll believe in him”

The production is dark and dazzling. With each listen you find new aspects of the track to engage with; Cate’s echoing and measured vocals, the reverberating yet simple piano, and the haunting strings. The level of detail in this single is a testament to Tomlinson’s discipline and intentionality as an artist and creative.

“This song is not about one person for once. I made it about the pretty boy character/phenomenon that I’ve seen played out in my generation and in pop culture–a character who sucks you in and makes it easy to get wrapped up in their life.

This song’s vibe is pretty down bad lmao. I’d say my favorite lyric is “pretty boy’s coming back at his convenience, he said he’s done screwing up and I believe him,” just cause I love how it fits together. And I think it’s emblematic of the pretty boy character.

I’ve had a version of this song going for almost three years now. When I started it, I knew I had something I liked, and when I took it to my producers we took it to a whole nother level. The bridge is my favorite and in my opinion the best part of the song- we had finished recording it before I wrote the bridge, and when I was driving home I thought of the lyrics that are now the bridge. So I had to go back in a couple days later and add it, and thank god I did cause the bridge slaps.” - Cate Tomlinson

Cate Tomlinson is a 22-year-old singer, songwriter, and performing artist from Palo Alto, California. Her music draws from pop, soul, and rock. The young self-made artist is now based out of Boston and developed her unique voice as an artist at Northeastern University.

Cate is set to release her second EP in the summer of 2023. It is her first body of work with producers Fil Thorpe (Neck Deep, Worlds First Cinema) and John Sinclair (World’s First Cinema, Macklemore).

Cate spent her last summer writing and performing in the greater Los Angeles area, gracing the stage at Hotel Cafe, Breaking Sound, and indie festival NextFest LA. She has been praised by the likes of Rising Artists, Right Chord Music, Kings of A&R, Glasse Factory, Blurred Culture, and Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist.

The single is the third off of upcoming EP Blueberry Season; a 5-song EP that dives deeper into the pop-rock landscape. The songs tell a series of stories from her late teens transitioning to her 20s. Vulnerability, heartache, anger, and self-reflection are the central themes that will resonate with listeners.

From gut-wrenching ballads to alt-pop anthems, Cate shows her versatility as an artist and innovation as a songwriter.

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