EP REVIEW: Qualia “Triptych”

Qualia

It’s the dream of every artist to have their art become their means of survival. Seattle-based Qualia was formed in 2014 by Michael Hazani (vocals, keys, programming) as his passion project when he had downtime from his daytime gig as a freelance songwriter/producer for hire, which we have to say, from an artist’s standpoint, sure beats working at Subway. Accompanied by Shawn Crowder (drums), Pier Luigi Salami (keys), and Michael Hazani (everything else) in the studio, their upcoming sophomore EP “Triptych” is an ethereal and imaginative take on electro rock. Hazani’s accolades include coming in as a semifinalist in the International Songwriting Competition two years running. With his currently project Qualia, he’s also proving that there’s lots to look forward from the Seattle rock scene. All of the band members are alumni of the Berklee College of Music, at which they have had the pleasure of performing at the A3E expo. On “Triptychm” electro beats remain the center of attention, yet soaring choruses and a pinch of classic rock sensibilities demand to be heard as well. For the full listening experience, we recommend playing the EP on loop.

The EP opens with an exciting and playful intro on “Presque Vu” that sounds like it could be the intro music to a Sega video game, before making a smooth transition to an uplifting alt-rock song that sounds like running out of the doors on the last day of school. “It was good to be alive back then,” reminisces Hazani. The EP slows down and transitions to visuals of a cityscape on “Guillotine” as Hazani muses “If it’s killing you, as it’s killing me, why don’t we stop this guillotine?” The song sings of the bitter sweetness of unavoidable change. Fans of Arcade Fire will immidetiely jump onto “Guillotine.” Things get swanky and sexy on the third and final track “Tell Me A Story,” a slightly psychedelic and inviting number to close out the listening experience. “Tell me, tell me a story…” It’s fitting that the last track on their EP would sound like an invitation to the next chapter, because after reveling in the delight of “Triptych” we can’t wait to see what’s next for Qualia. With a cohesive musical arc and diversity of moods,  yet never straying off-brand, (fans of CHVRCHES, Imagine Dragons, and Muse will enjoy) Qualia went ahead and created the ultimate EP.

“Triptych” was released on September 15th, 2015 and produced by Michael Hazani and Jay Marcovitz, mixed by Jay Marcovitz, and mastered by Fred Sladkey. Live, Qualia is all Hazani, playing a solo electronic setup. He’s planning on touring the West Coast   throughout the year. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and his trippy website. Stream the EP in its entirely here below.

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