Singled Out: Anoop Desai's Love War (Featuring ADHD)
I started working with producer and DJ ADHD in the Fall of 2011 on some material we originally thought would be for a mixtape, but ended up being my EP "3 Cheers". ADHD had sent over a few tracks to see if I had any topline melody or lyric ideas for them, and one happened to be an early version of the "Love War" track. That version was a lot busier in the verse sections, but we thinned those parts out when we decided to make it a vocal song. I was struck immediately by the synth line in the buildup and the drop. It's this eerie organ synth that bears down on you as the hook progresses. It builds and builds so that by the time the drop happens, you're just marching lockstep right along with it...one of those melodic motifs that you catch yourself humming days later without being able to remember where it came from. So off the bat, we had an amazing foundation for the song.
The concept of "Love War" is a pretty universal one, but the music just brought that imagery to mind right away. There was this vision of two people alone on a World War I battlefield, just entrenched in their own conflict while the world went on around them, paying no mind. The last two soldiers in a war everyone else had forgotten about. I knew that I wanted to let the track shine as much as possible, so I made the verses as simple as I could. I'm a writer that tends to add a lot of flourishes to pop songs, so it was an exercise in restraint for me. When we got into the studio to record vocals, I had a sketch of what I wanted to say, but the final lyrics were written almost on the fly in the control room. If memory serves, we were recording two or three songs that day. It was a long process so we stopped briefly to pick up a couple six packs of beer. Upon returning to the studio, ADHD and I sat and talked about the song and it kind of went into this story time about past relationships. I think we've all been in situations where we wish we didn't care about a person so much, especially romantically. I, for one, have never been good at stepping away and detaching myself from a bad situation. Instead, I tend to get stuck in these wars of love. And at the end of the day, they're really wars of pride and selfishness. Either each person is trying to prove something, or one doesn't care and the other does, etc. Inspired and a little tipsy, I wrote probably six verses inspired by a girl in my past. It became a pretty personal narrative for me at points, but the two verses we kept were the two I felt gave listeners an opportunity to apply the song and that initial imagery to their own story. That, to me, is one of the beautiful things about pop music.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and check out the video right here!