Marcel Jordi

A catchy Rock/Pop genuine sound is what would identify the complexity of human emotions. The Switzerland-based band, Stay Illusion, has nailed this equation of making a captivating sound that reflects deep sensations in their latest EP, “Play Pretend.”

“Play Pretend” was written and recorded in Thun, Switzerland by the band members; Grace Willis, Yvo Brönnimann, Joel Fahrni, Sandro Portner; along with producer Florian Fettke (The Two Romans).

It’s meant to be spoken to one inner child, imagining a restriction-free life. But as I listened to the five-track EP, it felt like it was seeking to simulate freedom we didn’t know we desired until we grew up. The organic, vigorous sound of fusing Rock and Pop delivers the feeling of wanting to break free, sometimes through loudness and others through sensibility, with the ARIA award-winning and Grammy-nominated producer Adrian Breakspear’s polished production in both.

“You know, did you ever wish that things were different and that you could just like play pretend?”

These words open “Circles,” the first track in the EP. It sets the mood for you, letting you go wild and be in a state of mind where you can imagine scenarios and pretend, like you did when you were a child. It has a powerful, edgy sound. All the elements feel as if they’re circling around each other in a tense atmosphere, making your head swirl.

The rocking track, “Look at Me Now,” features saucy, electrifying riffs, head-banging drumming, and a savage lyrical attitude embodied in the bold vocals, with Grace owning the words like a queen.

In “Waves,” the band shifts to a more vulnerable, melancholy pop ballad. It has a delicate texture with its mellow piano notes, velvet vocals, and ascending composition that conveys the intimate, complex sentiments.

“Fix You” Continuing in the Rock/Pop vein, like “waves.” This song discusses a core point that every partner needs to know, especially women who lay their eyes on a broken man, thinking that they can fix him. Well.. it’s time to admit that “It’s not my job to fix you.” The fast pace makes it irresistible to engage with, mumbling along until one knows it by heart.

“Original” concludes the EP as it began, with an edgy atmosphere. demonstrating their ability to say what they have, both harshly and softly. The previous two songs felt like tenderly feeding the prey, and then “Original” arrives to attack fiercely with its rhythmic pulse. The quartet definitely saved their strongest for last.

Shall we recall the simpler times when we used to play pretend? Enjoy the rebellious spirit you’ll conjure up by listening to “Play Pretend” below.

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