PREMIERE: SONTALK’s “I Am a War Machine” Video Is a Profound Look at the Loss of Innocence


Photo: Seiji Inouye

There is a timeless, all-encompassing warmth to SONTALK’s unique brand of rock. The project of musician Joseph LeMay, SONTALK crafts tried-and-true rock music that feels at a perfect match both behind archival footage of a Vietnam protest or any of today’s recent outrages (take your pick). His debut outing, the sensational three-track EP SONTALK: Act I, set the stage for what is bound to be one of rock’s next great voices.

SONTALKS’s latest offering comes in the form of the official video for his breakthrough single, “I Am a War Machine.” It’s a deeply beautiful and tragic glimpse into SONTALK as an artist. Intercutting between war footage and a child playing war, it’s a reflective rumination into the destruction of youth. The lightheartedness of a boy running around a forest and playing soldier is a tough pill to swallow when the following shot is that of soldiers scrambling for their lives. The underlying sense of tragedy is accentuated by SONTALK’s pained, soulful voice. SONTALK has put every ounce of himself into both this song and video, and it shows.


SONTALK expanded further on the underlying meaning of the track and video,

“‘I Am A War Machine’ is a song about recognizing and naming your brokenness and volatility. One of our goals with this video was to juxtapose the lighthearted innocence of a child playing war with the stark reality of real war and to depict the almost accidental way that that innocence is dismantled as we grow up and experience the world. The boy in the video represents the Inner Child while the war footage represents all the darkness and hardships that work to pollute or snuff out that vibrant innocence of the Inner Child. We wanted to show a frustrated main character reflecting on this tragic cycle and mourning the loss of his innocence while wrestling with the fact that he has become a reflection of all the pain and trouble he has seen in this world.”

SONTALK’s trademark style of rock may be soft-spoken, but the profound sense of universality that emanates from within it cannot be ignored. “I Am a War Machine” is truly enrapturing; it grabs you from the outset and refuses to let go. 

Watch the video for “I Am a War Machine” below: