Sunday, October 5, 2014

Indie Music: QVALIA "This is the Color of My Dreams"

by Germar Derron

QVALIA nailed it. I can’t quite describe “it,” but this is it.  Apparently, the album and live shows are “accompanied by interactive 3d songscapes inspired by 90’s PC adventure games.”  I didn't look up the CGI videos. I decided to judge the music based solely on sound.

They nailed it because the music paints a picture. I feel and see color, warmth, cool breezes, and landscapes as I listen. It may be cheesy, but it’s true. I imagine that if I was cool enough (or stupid enough) to “party,” I would really enjoy these tracks. And I thought these things before I realized that the title is, This is the Color of My Dreams.

Vocals are important to me.  Vocals quite literally make a song a song.  The vocals here remind me of all my favorite male rock vocalists. The sound is part production and part mix, but mostly a professional in front of a mic.

There are no catchy hooks here; there are actual choruses. Listen to “Sound the Alarm,” “Stardust,” and “White as Bones” to understand what I mean. So, in some ways this is a more mature sound.  But I think this is a sound that works today where the only sound that matters, sounds like EDM. No, this isn't EDM, but it’s just abstract enough, and just fast enough that it could mix well with a DJ, and vodka or Jack.

Throughout the album, various sounds and rhythms allude obviously to video game roots.  And the band’s look makes it all very authentic. One look at these guys confirms that they spent some time in a basement with a keyboard, joystick, or controller (it’s likely that they still do). That’s comforting because it means this unique sound wasn't crafted or contrived - it just was.

No, I will not ever sing along to any of these songs. But they are good, while being totally unobtrusive. I could easily play this as background at any event.  It’s ideal music for when you walk into a movie theater lobby and those almost recognizable songs play that you know you've never heard. QVALIA should start sending demos to AMC and Regal right now.

I admire the story of how they got here.  A somewhat struggling career writer-musician decided to do what he loves. So far, so good. I give the album a 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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