17 Jan 2021
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Learning To Dive - Single Review: Falling Leaves

10 Dec 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland

This is the second single released by Learning To Dive, the alter ego for musician, producer, vocalist and composer Bravo Bonez. By creating a new persona he is able to create music in a different style to what might be expected from him if he had released it in his normal style, allowing him a great deal of artistic freedom. If this sounds reminiscent of the early Eighties UK pop scene where electronica and New Romanticism collided with the fallout from punk then that is entirely deliberate and is apparently a theme for the Norwegian Pop EP due out next year.

A great deal of work has gone into the production and it is no surprise to discover that he co-produced it with Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, Mel C) while it was mixed by famed producer and engineer Clint Murphy (50cent, Devilskin, Kimbra). That is a lot of firepower to bring to just a second song, but it has worked as there is a real shine to the overall sound, although it must be said this is a very over the top production with little separation so will be best enjoyed by those who enjoy that style.

It took a long time for me to work out who this reminded me of, but in the end, I think it is probably best to describe it as Heaven 17 mixed with some of the styles of Soft Cell and Yazoo. His voice is often quite low in the register, and there is a lot of auto tune, but here it has been used as a device as opposed to something used to make a singer sound like they can hit a note. A special mention should also be made here of backing singer Alba Rose as there are a few times when we hear her voice rise above everything else and it cuts right through the sound with a brightness and vitality.

Although the song was written prior to the advent of Covid 19, lyrically it is dark and while the music may seem like a dance track there are definite undertones which take it away from the happiness one may normally expect. Bonez describes the song as being able to create an apprehension about our state of living, the inevitability of death and knowing that we are slowly passing away as we get closer to the end. Not exactly brightness and light! The vocal delivery is restrained, multi-layered, and designed to make us think about the words in the right frame of mind, while also bringing us something musically which can be enjoyed by many.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About Learning To Dive

Learning To Dive is a New Zealand based artist with musical themes' surrounding the genres of post-punk, 80’s, alt-rock and pop. Learning To Dive is an artistic identity of recently re-established musician, producer, vocalist and composer Bravo Bonez. Stylistically different from his usual music, LTD focuses on the more serious aspects of Bravos life and his perceptions of the world.

Learning To Dive has spent the last 20 year following the path of mammon, spending half of his life working between the cities of London and Wellington (New Zealand). Now permanently settled in the capital of NZ due to Covid-19, Learning To Dive is spending his time re-connecting with his musical passion through a variety of musical projects, as well as helping to developing and encourage local musicians through owning and running his own music studio called @puresoundstudios.

The release of High & Dry on the 20th of November was Learning To Dive's first release under this musical identity, with his debut EP ready to share for early April, 2021. He plans to start touring NZ, playing his music live while performing with the violin, bass and guitar as well as singing. Watch this space for much more to come.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Learning To Dive

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