Review: "Fake My Feelings" (ft. Torine) - Ponette
Some people are so eager to be loved that they lose sight of themselves. These people absorb and mirror their love interest or partner’s entire being to the extent of self-neglect. This absorption starts small; you adopt their hobbies, favorite cuisines, and maybe even some of their attire. But then you begin adopting their worldview, aspirations, and needs. Your emotional state falls to the wayside in this unhealthy pursuit of romantic love. If you don’t know anyone like this in your life, then you might be this person. Or, the third option, you’re recovering from being this person. "Fake My Feelings" by Ponette and featuring Torine reflect this third option.
“Fake My Feelings” is an Electro-Pop single that showcases the self-reflection we go through post-breakup as a part of the recovery process. It’s a confessional that’s told through a specific order: the verse acts as an admission, the pre-chorus is the self-loathing that’s experienced while mirroring, and the chorus is the introspection that provides moments of clarity. The song’s opening shrouds listeners in dreamy synths and heavy, electronic drums to put listeners into a contemplative frame of mind. The first verse that’s dropped is an admission of excessive eagerness: “He says he’s all about aesthetics / Well, I guess I am too, then / And I don’t care about what they think / I’ll do anything to please you”. This is an example of how absorption plays out. Then, the self-loathing follows up in the pre-chorus. Within it, it’s revealed to listeners that they ultimately “hate” themselves for behaving this way, but they can’t help it because they think it’ll get them closer to being loved. The chorus then cuts through with our introspection. While the guitar-laden instrumentation soars in the background, they begin to question why they play into this act when it’s known to cause confusion later down the road. Even remarking that it makes them lose the ability to recognize their own emotional needs and desires. Most importantly, though, they’ll never know if the romantic connection they find themselves in will ever be “real” since they suppressed their own identity to mirror the partner’s. The song then slows back down to the catchy melody that it began with to deliver an admission of awareness in the third verse; behaving this way is much more comfortable than revealing yourself for who you are. If the partner rejects you while mirroring, they’re rejecting the image of themselves that you’re projecting. But if they reject you without the mirroring, they’re rejecting you – and that’s a hard reality to cope with. After another confessional sequence is fulfilled, we come to a bridge filled with light-hearted synths and thoughts on mirroring. It ultimately makes them feel like their sense of self is nonexistent within the connection. In cases like this, altruism gets taken to a whole new level; in being selfless and overly invested in the partner, we begin to neglect our emotional needs and in turn, ourselves.
Ponette and Torine are Norwegian singers and songwriters with similar backgrounds. Both came from smaller communities that valued the façade of good appearances over well-being. Which, I think, makes the discographies of the two artists all the more poignantly impactful for listeners to consume. Over the years, Ponette has gained both local and international recognition for their dark, electronic-pop singles since the release of their 2021 debut album, Nude. Currently, Ponette is working on their upcoming album, Part I, where “Fake My Feelings” is a little taste of what’s to be expected on there. Meanwhile, Torine has been making music since 2019, with their debut EP, UNHOLY, being released in 2022. The EP serves as an illustrative extension of Torine’s past and present. If you’ve enjoyed this introspective trip as much as I have, show the artists some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.
Written by Giavanna Gradaille