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Carlie Hanson Is Mesmerizing In Stripped-Back “Pretender” Performance

Carlie Hanson idobi radio
[Photo by: Yising Kao]

Acting as the fifth track on her March 2023-released sophomore album, Wisconsin, Carlie Hanson joined the idobi Radio team in our LA office to strip down her massively popular 2022 single, “Pretender.”

Enveloped by the intimate strums of an acoustic guitarist echoing throughout the idobi Studios, Hanson‘s ’90s-inspired opus delves into the depths of her homesickness. The track undergoes a captivating transformation into a stripped-back anthem. With each chord, lyric, and hauntingly emotional delivery, the raw essence of the track pierces through the performance. Despite the cameras and glaring lights on her, she effortlessly creates an intimate soundscape. With each line, she skillfully crafts a space that feels just hers, inviting listeners and viewers to witness her unfiltered and empowering journey as she lays bare her inner turmoil.

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The chorus, the highlight of the release, erupts with intensity. Hanson’s impassioned vocals soar, punctuated by her poignant and vulnerable lyricism: “Pretender, what you are/Do you see yourself at all?/Is your heart so out of touch?/You always swear you’re gone/Sayin’ that you’ve had enough/But your feet are stuck/Why you always in the mud?/What the fuck is your problem?”

At the time of its December 2, 2022 release, Hanson shared the inspiration behind the track. “I was going through an identity crisis and feeling lost on the inside. While on the outside, I faked feelings and felt like I had to keep that happy-go-lucky energy that most people around me know… I was caught between staying [in L.A.] and making the ‘pop-star’ shit happen or saying fuck it; I’ll just make this work from Wisconsin instead.”

Check out Carlie Hanson’s soul-barring acoustic rendition of “Pretender” below. Be sure to tune in all week for her stripped-back performances of “Living Feeling Dead” and “Starting Tomorrow.”

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