Track Review

Track Review: Drums of War // LearningToDive

Ambient dream-pop with electronica, 80s post-punk and a smattering of shoegaze, LearningToDive has an eclectic sound. The solo project of New Zealand-based producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bravo Bonez, LearningToDive is an identity exploring more poignant, profound and thought-provoking perspectives on reality as a whole. Distinct from his upbeat, retro tones, this musical character is far darker in its alternative themes. The latest addition to his well-received repertoire is the single ‘Drums of War’.

Following his 2021 single ‘You Said It Best’, ‘Drums of War’ is LearningtoDive’s first release in two years. Unlike the smoother, soothing dream-pop ‘You Said It Best’, ‘Drums of War’ brings audiences a sinister post-punk sound. An elegant arrangement of hushed synths with pounding drums throughout the melody, there is a creepiness in its cinematic haze of, well, creepiness. Interestingly enough, while LearningToDive takes you on a hazy journey through ‘Drums of War’, a bold power can be felt within the sonic tapestry.

Unafraid to explore the more provocative issues in society, ‘Drums of War’ touches on the theme of war. While LearningToDive strongly believes in people’s right to defend their culture and homeland, he instils a profound cynicism and critique of war in totality. The Ukrainian War affected Bonez deeply, but it caused him to see “some of the same features of many wars on both sides of the conflict…the way populations are manipulated to achieve the aims of small groups of very powerful people.” ‘Drums of War’ is a sonic expression of the pain, frustration and anger felt when faced with “the way wars are built and promoted”.

One aspect I find intriguing about ‘Drums of War’ is how the tune expresses frustration and anger in a soothing, albeit sinister, cinematic sound. It is as if a chaotic temperate lurks beneath the ambient haze of music waiting to burst out at any moment. Unique and intriguing, this might be the soundtrack to the emotions behind war.

This artist was found on Musosoup #sustainablecurator

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