Pretend: Live in Studio
I wrote this song while living in the UK and shortly before moving back to the West Coast perhaps around 2003/04. I was going through a troubled time, living in basically a little one room flat in East Putney. I had put out my first solo album Hallelujah World and although I was initially finding some love via the local music press, I was having trouble breaking through and couldn’t seem to land any proper tours to promote my album. I felt like my label at the time Rough Trade was losing patience and having thrown all my chips on the table to move to the UK and chase my boyhood indie rock dreams, it felt as though my ship was taking on water. I was playing some semi-regular shows at a tiny little folk club in the West End of London called the 12 Bar and I think that’s where I met Tina Grace. Tina is a singer-songwriter and played and recorded a lot of Nitin Sawhney who was making an interesting blend of international folk and electronic music. I think Tina must have seen me play and invited me over to do some writing, which eventually lead to me collaborating with her and Nitin on some songs for his records. Pretend was a song Tina and I wrote on one of those long summer afternoon’s, sitting in the garden and just sort of vibing out on the contradictions of chasing one's dreams and sort of swimming in the highs and lows of all that. Years after that, I revisited the song while living in Portland and sent a copy to David Kosten who mixed my demo into the brilliant sounds that landed on Revenge Songs. Since then this song has become a staple for me live. I wanted to try and capture a nice solo acoustic version of the song, stripped down like I play it at shows. I hope you enjoy.