Have you ever found yourself completely speechless, out of words to describe how unjust, brutal or complicated the world is? “New dawn” is a song about the words we use to cover up uncomfortable truths. The song is based on real euphemisms that politicians have used to justify international “contributions” to bloody wars in the past decade.
If you listen closely to how politicians talk, you’ll almost never hear the word «war» in their mouth. They use other words instead. Vaguer words. More distant and less violent words. In Norway, politicians have been talking about «intervening» to «instate democracy» when we bombed Libya to smithereens, and about «stabilizing the region» when we invaded Afghanistan alongside other Western nations.
Language is a weapon, just as important as bombs and machine guns. There’s a reason why armed forces use metaphors like «taking out the enemy» or «engaging a target» when in reality they are talking about killing other human beings. Through choosing vaguer or more neutral terms, we distance ourselves from the consequences of our actions. If wars were as simple as the words we use to describe them, there’d be no suffering, no death or despair.
“Operation New Dawn” was the military name given to the Americans’ withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. It was meant to be part of a «transition to stability» in the region, but created a situation which gave rise to both the ultra-violent ISIS and the Syrian civil war. If anything, «Operation New Dawn» was a red dawn, no matter how beautiful it may have sounded.
The photography on the single cover is taken by Norwegian photographer Odd Andersen (NTB/AFP). What may indeed seem like a “new dawn” at first glance, is in fact a burning oil well in the city of Mosul, Iraq, after the withdrawal of ISIS in 2016.
On «New Dawn», I have had a dream come true in singing with the wonderful Ida Løvheim of the band Hollow Hearts, and not least to be backed by the amazing Trondheimsolistene, arranged by Hasse Rosbach. I have so many good people around me, and would be nowhere without every single one.
“New Dawn” is the third and last single from my new album “Like in 1968”, to be released on 13 September.