strawbey – play pretend

I had the pleasure of listening to the debut single of strawbey last week and was looking forward to its official release today so that I could share it with you here. Play pretend is the kind of indie/dream pop that hypnotizes you and leaves you wanting more. Amazingly, the song was written, produced, recorded and released entirely in lockdown; which you wouldn’t know because it sounds as if it had been recorded in a studio by a top-notch producer.

strawbey is the stage name of 19-year-old Norwich singer (and friend of The Alternative Mixtapes), Ruben Pope, who won first place in 2019’s Young Norfolk Writing Competition and has received the support of the likes of the BBC, who featured play pretend in their LGBTQ+ Records of the Year Pride Playlist 2020 for the Norfolk region. Ruben’s debut EP will be released in August but, in the meantime, we can enjoy this honest and raw song about the struggles of playing pretend just to fit in. There is no video yet but you can listen to play pretend in the mixtapes below.

Without a doubt, strawbey is the kind of talent we should all support.

“There are times where we all knowingly ‘play pretend’ and although we often fail to acknowledge this, we’d all rather ‘fake it ‘til we make it’.”

strawbey

Featured on the following mixtapes:

flor feat. MisterWives – yellow

I love cover tracks that are not just karaoke versions of the original songs. In particular, when the artist manages to bring the song to his/her own style in a way that makes it sound as a brand new track (and even better when the styles are very different). This is exactly what flor accomplished with their cover of Coldplay’s iconic song: Yellow, for which they had a bit of help from Mandy Lee from MisterWives.

flor (they don’t use a capital F) is a pretty well-known band in the indie circuit, but in case you don’t know who they are, they started in 2014 in Oregon, US; and have released two studio albums so far. This cover of Yellow, however, is part of a EP, reimagined, that the band released in February this year, containing new versions of two of their most popular songs plus the song being featured here. All three songs come recommended and deserve a listen, but you can start with Yellow here:

Featured on the following mixtapes: