“Pretend You Love Me” by Sonny and the Sunsets // Longtime Companion (2012)
I’m a sucker for a well used pedal-steel. Something about that dreamy, yearning sound always grabs my attention, especially when used in a song that’s not explicitly “country”. “Pretend You Love Me” surely falls into the category of “alt-country”, and that’s just fine, but the reason you’re seeing it posted here, surrounded by all of this dream pop, lo-fi, and shoegaze, is almost completely because of that dreamy pedal-steel. It takes a sweet, mid-tempo ballad and gives it a captivating depth. Of course, the rest of the song is great as well, I just find myself locked onto that one thing and it takes a moment to step back and realize that the whole picture is as beautiful as that one spot. Definitely worth checking out if you’re fans of Wilco, Son Volt, or Ryan Adams (in country mode).