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The Days Won't End if You "Play Pretend," with Ali Angel

LA-based singer-songwriter and musician Ali Angel uplifts and inspires listeners with the honesty and optimism she evokes through her songs. Her music is tinged with twangy soul, strong vibrato, and gritty, bluesy rock riffs.

With a little bit of retro-soul pop, a smidge of Americana, and some humor, Ali Angel has taken the best of many genres and intertwined them to curate a one-of-a-kind sound that is true to her.

Taking her listeners into the sprightly tempo of her latest single, “Play Pretend,” Ali Angel exudes an inviting essence sprinkled in warmth through the musical sanguinity that she platforms. “Play Pretend,” transmits a searing glow that feels as if balmy sun rays were beaming down on your skin as you take a ride on the freeway with the top down and the wind in your hair.

“Play Pretend,” touches on the moments that Ali Angel never wants to end. Being caught up in the unforgettable times created has you imagining that the moment could last an eternity. The manner in which Ali Angel’s soul-infused timbres shake you to your core has her prevailing echoes sitting perfectly in place of the top tier mix of this single.

Accompanied by luscious guitar riffs that reverberate through a chamber of comfort, the amalgamation between the musical components allows the syncopated drum patterns to create a rhythmic environment without overpowering the composition. There is a charm that comes with the charisma Ali Angel exudes. The way that her music is portrayed allows you to feel as if you have known her for a lifetime.

Leading up to the release of her debut EP, Ali Angel is pulling all the stops as she genuinely welcomes you into the golden-hued world of her musicality.

Hello Ali Angel, welcome to BuzzMusic, and congratulations on the release of “Play Pretend.” This song is such a feel-good moment dripping in warmth! Was there a particular moment that you never wanted to end which shaped the creation of this song?

Thank you so much!! I’m pretty certain I started writing the song on a Friday, so I was in a really adventurous and fun mood, which inspired me to write a song about that sort of never-ending weekend feeling. I was definitely envisioning a rooftop bar on a Friday during golden hour, just that perfect small space in time where you forget about reality and responsibilities and genuinely believe for a second that the day will last forever. Nothing is better than that for me, and I wanted to depict that in a song.

How long did it take you to create “Play Pretend?" Do you remember where you structured the lyrics and any memorable moments that came with it?

I wrote, “Play Pretend” when I was still living with my parents right before the pandemic happened. I think ironically, it’s become the perfect song of mine to put out right at the beginning of the die-down of quarantine because it’s all about daydreaming of that feeling of going out, which we’ve all been missing so much. The timing of that was definitely serendipitous. The song took a year, maybe a little longer to make. The pandemic definitely made it harder to meet up with everyone involved on the song as frequently, but it also was just a work in progress to figure out in every aspect. I played around with tons of different verses lyrically and switched up small words up until the very end. Sometimes the most simple lyrics can be the most complicated to figure out, especially in terms of what is the most appealing not only meaning-wise but sonically, which vowels work better with your voice and with the music. I initially envisioned the song with horns and brass, but for a while, we cut them out, and then in the end I decided I was totally right from the start and that it just needed them. We kept adding more and more elements like glockenspiel and organ and congas and things to give the song more texture and sparkle.

What musical and non-musical influences do you allow to shape your radiating creations?

Currently, I’m really inspired by a lot of the current alternative Nashville artists like Nicki Bluhm, Margo Price, and Jade Bird as well as others like Haim, The Talking Heads, Prince, Elton John, and anything that Dan Auerbach and Matt Ross-Spang produce. I’d say I mainly write about my own experiences and from my own perspective because it just feels the most comfortable and authentic to me, but I’d like to experiment with writing from other spaces of thinking as well, just to get out of my own storyline and into somebody else’s. I think the pandemic has inspired that a bit more out of me because we’ve all been robbed of so many potential experiences and new people and places this past year, so it’s been more tempting to make up new worlds and stories.

With such optimistic wording performed, do you find it fairly easy to keep the light of positivity going in your music even though you may experience some days that get you down?

Totally! I’m absolutely an optimist by nature, and I think that side of me really comes out in “Play Pretend”. I also think that some songs are simply meant to make you feel good and bring you to a positive, higher vibration. Lyrically, I wanted to go with a really fun, playful, and repetitive direction, so that by the end, a listener could be singing along. More than anything, I wanted the theme and the rich production elements combined to just bring out a warm, playful feeling in anybody who listens to it, especially during a time when we all need to let loose and have some fun again.

What can fans anticipate next from you?

I’ll be releasing some more singles in the near future as well as my debut EP, ideally by the end of the year! I’ll definitely be playing shows around LA now that everything is opening up too! My first show is May 1st with SoundSync LA!

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