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Fuscia – Let’s Pretend

Feelings are odd. They are the root of all things human, yet our feelings toward our own feelings are incredibly fickle. One moment we are basking in our most unfiltered versions of ourselves, the next we are wishing it all away. A lot of this “afraid to feel” talk manifests in our intimate relationships with one another. In an age where hookup culture is the norm and catching feels is synonymous with catching pneumonia, as a society we have grown accustom to apathetic rather than empathetic encounters.

Dreamy, R&B-infused jazz maven, Fuscia gives her personal take on this phenomenon in her second single release, “Let’s Pretend,” produced by Connor Musarra and released July 26. Opening lyric “Let’s pretend I’m yours for just the night, pretend we’re more than bodies intertwined,” instantly hits with an air of relatability. A feeling I’m sure we’ve all felt at least once (save you sociopaths out there), Fuscia elaborates on yearning for real, intangible closeness but finds herself blaming her head and settling for the physical, what feels safe.

A peek into her secret inner-conscious, the music seems to reflect her self-dialogue. The track begins with chords played on the keys, sounding removed, almost like a thought that hasn’t been fully realized yet. With a sweep of vocalization and a swift crescendo, it’s like Fuscia’s thought has traveled to the front of her mind. With an introduction of crisp snaps, she sets the stage with the aforementioned lyric and goes onto elaborate “I just want a feeling, something worth keeping.” With that notion our bass groove appears— fleshing out the sound while she fleshes out her thoughts. As we fall into the chorus, percussion joins in and the motion of the sonorities combined feel almost circular. As she muses “Or is this all in my head all in my head, making love instead is safe for me,” a thought that has likely been returned to time and time again, she recognizes the present cycle but doesn’t necessarily feel ready to break it.

And if breaking the cycle means halting Fuscia’s gorgeous vocals and this infectious, jazzy groove, I can’t say I’m ready yet either. The tune is both slow-burning and sonically uplifting. Interesting melodic phrases, tight backing vocals and dissonant harmonies are strong testaments to the incredible songwriting and vocal arrangement present here. Capitalizing off of landing where you don’t expect melodically, in combination with Musarra’s ridiculously smooth production and healthy mix of real and synthesized instrumentation, the ear is kept keen and wanting more.

If you find yourself falling into the “wanting more” category, tomorrow is your lucky day. Keep your eyes peeled for the visual companion to “Let’s Pretend,” set for release when the clock strikes midnight on Aug. 2!

Jessica Thomas