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On the DL: Vol. 2

March 8, 2023

Hey guys! Welcome back to On the DL Vol.2! I’m super excited to write my second piece for WVAU. Today, I chose to write about Montell Fish’s 2022 album “Her Love Still Haunts Me Like a Ghost”, specifically the song “Pretend Lovers”. Montell Fish is a producer, writer, and performer from Brooklyn, NY. Fish’s main inspiration for music came from the gospel church services he would attend with his mother growing up, or more recently through emotions, telling Billboard “I was passionate and I went through a breakup,” he says. “Every time I go through a breakup, I write a good album.” for his earlier 2022 album release “Jaime”. Montell Fish was also announced as Spotify’s Artist to Watch when he released “Jaime”.

 While “Jamie” was a major success on streaming services, as well as social media sites like Tik Tok, “Her Love Still Haunts Me Like a Ghost” is, in my opinion better than “Jamie” and deserves the attention that “Jamie” got, “Her Love Still Haunts Me Like a Ghost” came out on the heels of “Jamie” in October of 2022. In comparison to “Jamie” that has a distinct lofi sound that many of Fish’s listeners associate with him, “Her Love Still Haunts Me Like a Ghost” takes on a darker, R&B style with the use of static and club style beats cut with a powerful electric guitar. I remember first listening to the album, after my friend sent me a text in November saying “Go listen to Montell Fish’s new album” and nothing else, at the time it wasn’t my favorite, but I was definitely intrigued by the various sounds on the album. 

Out of the seven tracks on the album, track 4 “Pretend Lovers” became my favorite, because it was different from the rest of the album(it may be entirely possible that my favorite songs on albums may be because they sound different, so it might become a trend). The static of the former tracks were the staticy, club beats with the strike of a guitar, where “Pretend Lovers” axes the static and club beats for a slightly more indie sound, and the electric guitar is in the background, but I feel it is replaced by an acoustic guitar. “Pretend Lovers” is about Fish’s confusion on whether or not this girl really wants to be his friend, or she has ulterior motives, Fish is in love with this girl and is really trying to figure out what her feels are, and in the case that Fish’s feelings aren’t reciprocated he wants to pretend that his love interest is actually has the same feelings. 

The lines “If we depart tonight/Then please just hold me tight/If we depart tonight/Then please just be my girl” in the intro verse of the song really speak to the yearning that Montell Fish is feeling, he so severely wants to know if the girl he is singing about has the same feelings to the point where he is begging her to be his girl. Fish even expresses his feelings about this girl knowing how he feels about her with the lines “I hope you know I feel a way about you/About you, yeah” in the outro of “Pretend Lovers”. “Pretend Lovers” breaks up the dark sound of “Her Love Still Haunts Me Like a Ghost” with the emotion of hoping that the relationship you want to have isn’t one sided and that the feeling is mutual.

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