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Pretend by Leif Shively Band, A Sublime Outlaw Country Record Based On A Ruptured Marriage

From Haughton, Louisiana, the Leif Shively Band crafted a song as epic as melancholic for all Outlaw Country fans. The record named Pretend achieves a wonderfully unusual delivery of three extensive acoustic factors: Grunge-Rock vocals, ambitious instrumental, and perfect mood mirroring between the brooding lyrics and the soulful pitch choice.

The lead member and vocalist, Leif Shively, recounts exclusively for Blue Rhymez Entertainment: “I was in an 8-year relationship with someone I married a year after graduating from high school. As the years piled on, we both became different people on two different paths. I was chasing a music career and she had developed an addiction to painkillers. I wanted everyone to think everything was okay, but I was essentially living in a glass house that was about to be obliterated. There were days that I wondered what might have been if she had stayed sober, but I will never know. Two years later after we finally called it quits, she passed away of an intestinal blockage that I believe was related to the painkillers.” Well, that’s about as close as you’ll get to a mathematical definition of keeping it real.

If the inspiration pulled from the first-person recount of the singer was not enough, Leif Shively cuts deep right from the start: You never loved me/ For who I really am/ And every time we touch/ We’re just playing pretend. What dazzles the audience is when you SEE the man behind the voice. The artist obviously works out and yet he sounds like the gentlest of souls. When somebody organically embodies 2 completely polar opposites, that’s star material and a natural magnetism with the fans.

That’s not to say, however, that the sound without the visual can’t stand on its own. Au contraire. The Grunge-Rock-like vocal dynamic manifests beautifully and presents itself as the building pilaster of Pretend. Country songs don’t always grant the listener a deep, introspective narrative as neither most voices are so low on the baritone range. That touch of raspiness? Pure soul infusion.

I thought you wanted/ A place to call home/ But sometimes we’re right/ And sometimes we’re wrong, continues the unified association between the solitary voice and sentimental guitar.

And now I’m feeling/ Like a damn ol’ train/ Because I keep on rolling/ Down a track that never ends/ Maybe in another life/ We might have been/ But you just don’t love me/ Unless we’re playing pretend further communicates the center theme of Pretend the chorus of the record. The singer’s vocals radiate with manly strength, soul, candor, and light deriving from the genuine revelations. The tranquil employed dynamic is rather sticky and easy to memorize for the audience.

This house feels empty/ And the walls are closing in/ You’re dreaming of someone else/ I can’t tell you where I’ve been, empties out Leif Shively the mental image he’s built thus far in the mind of the listener.

If you thought the whole song and performance were impressive, wait till you see and hear the cello at the end which is played by none other than the terrific guitarist and Outlaw Country singer, Leif Shively. It seems God has His favorites.

Pretend is a Country showpiece that captivates through its consuming, lyrical darkness exercised vocally by the very protruding timbre of Leif Shively. It displays musical plenitude in very much a 3D concept made possible by the unnaturally detailed emotions, soulful pipes, and accompanying music video.

Song Credits: Leif Shively – Singer, Songwriter, Music Producer, Guitarist, Cello Player; Kyle Roop – Engineer, Producer, Pedal Steel; Ethan Spillers- Piano and Organ Player; Jessica Brock – Backup Vocalist; David Barrick – Mastering Engineer.

Make sure you support the Leif Shively Band by streaming Pretend on Amazon Music HERE, on Apple Music HERE, on Deezer HERE, on YouTube Music HERE, on Tidal HERE, and on Spotify below:

Written by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment 
©2022

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