Cinematic and transcendent, ‘Norwegian Pop’ is the stunning new album from LearningToDive. Nine tracks long, ‘Norwegian Pop’ explores the sounds of 1980s genres including post-punk, synth-pop, New Wave and the New Romantic movement.
‘Norweigan Pop’ is one of a series of projects from the multi-talented musician, producer, vocalist and composer, Bravo Bonez. Based in New Zealand, Bravo was no doubt inspired by the dramatic scenery around him, as this beautiful album was just meant to be listened to when surrounded by nature’s epic beauty.
“Bravo uses his expertise of various instruments from keyboards to the violin to produce a truly breathtaking single full of anthemic atmospherics, ambient dream pop and a smattering of shoegaze”Indie Central
Bravo cites 80’s artists such as Roxy Music, The Psychedelic Furs, Echo & The Bunnymen and Iva Davies. There are also some more recent artists that have influenced the album including Boards of Canada, Radiohead and The Impending Adorations.
Opening with the lead track ‘I Stand on an Ice Floe’, the scene is set for a transcendent musical ride, with electronic murmurs overlaid by soft drumming. Very aptly named, this song transports you to the tranquility and stillness of an icy Norweigan landscape and would fit well with any dramatically intense scene in a movie.
Watch the video for ‘I Stand on an Ice Floe’ here:
Moving on into ‘Rainbow Fall’, the tempo picks up along with vocals from Alba Rose. Strong and striking are the words that come to mind from this track, with Alba’s deep vocal harmonies complimenting the heavy drum beat.
A personal highlight of the album is ‘Falling Leaves’. An effervescent pop-like track, this is ironically a great summer song – despite the autumnal notion of the lyrics and song title.
“Gloriously atmospheric production…full of vigour, spirit, and social commentary”Happy Mag
An ongoing theme through ‘Norweigan Pop’ is the epic and eerie movie soundtrack style featured in tracks such as ‘High & Dry’ and ‘Little Requiem’. Like the opening track ‘I Stand on an Ice Float’ these songs visualise stunning landscapes and would be the perfect audio accompaniment for a climatic battle scene.
A standout feature from the record is the diversity in genres, which collectively embody a love letter to 1980’s post-punk, pop and rock. The pop sound of ‘Falling Leave’ is continued through ‘Promenade’ and ‘Tainted’ – both uplifting and catchy tracks. This upbeat sound is contrasted with the slow bluesy beats from ‘I’ll Smile’, a fluid and easy-listening track with soft percussion and jazzy instrumental accompaniment.
Along with creating his own musical projects, Bravo helps to develop and encourage local musicians through owning and running his own music studio called PureSound Studios NZ.
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