You’re Alone Now | “Fat Chance” by Pretoria


Marion Reilly, Writer/Volunteer

In a crowded basement, with flashing lights and posters plastered across the walls, Pretoria performed with infectious energy last May for the opening night of a local house venue. The Treehouse, which highlights music and art in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has since grown in popularity and regularly hosts shows featuring local bands, but it remains a casual, intimate place. Seeing Pretoria up close, I realized how much of a difference listening to music live could make.

Five member indie-rock band Pretoria, from my hometown of Grand Rapids, has been one of my favorites ever since I first saw them perform at the MSU Spring Concert in 2022. Since then, they’ve released three new singles. The most recent of which, titled “Fat Chance,” is a preppy indie-rock song with catchy lyrics, rhythmic guitar solos and a nostalgic vibe that I can’t quite put my finger on. The guitar-driven chorus is the most impactful aspect of the song, but it has more experimental elements, especially with the melancholic ending, characterized by long harmonica notes and crunchy, reverberating guitar. 

The song itself is upbeat, but expresses a spiteful sentiment toward a failed romance. It begins with a sweet yet somber intro, explaining how everything came to an end:

“You said you wanna turn your own way /

You said you wanna choose your own fate /

Gonna make it happen, gonna make it happen.”

However, a groovy guitar line cuts through the melancholy, and the mood shifts entirely, seemingly telling the story of how time can change emotions. The song becomes more carefree and cynical, yet triumphant. The lyrics proclaim a sense of freedom and relief, tinged with a feeling of self-satisfaction:

“Come down and let me see you /

I know what we could be /

You’re alone now, you’re alone now.”