Following his first independent release last month, Conan Mac is back with “Pretend,” a killer dance-pop track. Mac sings about a couple who pretend everything in their relationship is fine instead of communicating in order to work on the relationship or end it.
"Pretend is written about a problem most of us have experienced, or have seen from the outside,” Mac says. “Sometimes in life its easier to just pretend things are fine, but the easiest choice is not usually the right one"
Mac's newest single was immediately captivating. The soundtrack drew me in with its beat and electronic instruments. The beginning of the track had a ticking-like sound that reminded me of a clock: a warning that the relationship doesn’t have long to last if it continues this way.
The tempo and speed of the song matched the soundtrack and captured the essence of Mac’s style: a mix of dance and pop. The lyrics were catchy, and the soundtrack was perfect for head-bopping. As he sings, the tempo of the lyrics throughout the verse sometimes goes from slower to faster, capturing both a more chill, lo-fi vibe and a more mainstream pop party vibe. At the beginning of the chorus, Mac sings with a faster punch to each word as a beat emphasizes each syllable, like when he sings, “We could talk it through, but there’s too much to say.” The emphasis from the beat was one of the things that highlighted the dance, party aspect of “Pretend.”
Mac sings the epitome of the song in the last line of the chorus: “We could tell the truth, but we still pretend.” The lyrics highlighted how it's all in the couple's hands and power to change their behavior and work through the relationship. It also encompassed how, for many people, it’s easier to hide away from hard conversations and stay in a familiar environment or relationship, even if it’s detrimental.
In the second to last chorus, Mac uses that line to flow into the bridge. The bridge veered away a bit from the dancier aspects of the song. Mac’s vocals and lyrics felt more longing, melancholy, and desperate from the rest of the song.
Mac and his record “Pretend” is perfect for fans of Ed Sheeran, Lauv, Troye Sivan, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes.
Conan Mac is a UK singer-songwriter who began releasing music in 2017. After a couple of independent releases, Mac worked with other artists, collaborating on writing songs like Brazilian DJ ‘KVSH’ and Danish duo ‘Toomanylefthands.’ He’s performed across US colleges, at the BBC Introducing Live, at the London 02 Academy, at the Windsor Racecourse, and at BBC Carfest. Ending 2021 with his first independent release, “Kissing In The Rain,” Mac is back in 2022 with new releases scheduled for each month, starting with “Pretend” this month.
Written by Anne Friedman