Today, genre-blurring artist Carlie Hanson has released her moody, instantly catchy new single “Pretender” today via Warner Records. Inspired by ‘90s icons like Third Eye Blind and Tegan & Sara, the jaunty pop-rock anthem finds the 22-year-old coming to terms with the fakes and hangers-on that thrive in the music industry. The track is taken from Hanson’s forthcoming sophomore album, due out in early 2023.
Wracked with homesickness, Hanson wrote the song about feeling alienated in the City of Angels, after making the move from her small town of Onalaska, Wisconsin at the young age of 17. “I was going through an identity crisis and feeling lost on the inside,” she explains, “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.” The singer-songwriter felt stuck. “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.”
“Pretender” arrives soon after “Illusion,” another track which explores stardom, and “608,” a loving homage to her midwestern roots. Those songs only arrived a matter of months after the release of Hanson’s acclaimed debut album Tough Boy in February, but she’s already looking to her next project. And if songs like “Pretender” are any indication, the new album is shaping up to be an eclectic, transformative experience.