Pretend, the latest single by Shashaa Tirupati (who goes by her mononymous stage name Shashaa) is an acoustic track on love and loss. While there are several indiepop releases that might fall in this category , there is effort from the artist in not fitting in the same overused Prateek Kuhad-like aesthetic.
Instead of toxic notions of attachment, Shashaa delves into a relationship where the partners have become self-aware of the toxicity. The themes evoke the classic elements of a couple’s fight, ranging from the mutual apologies to ego clashes.
The closing lines “I’m such a fool to have confessed when I was on my way home again” are a standout in this regard. The vocalist’s voice only brings out more raw pain that comes out of the end of a one-sided relationship. The
melancholia is explored further with featured artist Keba Jeremiah’s guitaring. Jeremiah relies on a mellow fingerstyle arrangement that plays throughout the entirety of Pretend. Even though it goes well with the blue tones of the song, it can somehow sound comforting too.
Pretend works on its own and is another amusing chapter from Shashaa’s upcoming four-track EP, I’m Sorry Heart. Through each track, the singer-songwriter aims to bring out one particular aspect of a relationship. The EP’s title refers to her apologising to her heart in advance for the subsequent heartbreak that she will go through.
With three songs released week by week, Pretend is to be followed by an April release titled Medieval Minds. It will be interesting to see how Shashaa will end this lamentation of the heart after the self-introspective themes of Pretend.Till then, her latest single works well for comfort listening.
Verdict: Introspective lamentations of the heart that go beyond the usual heartbreak formula.