Alex Stanilla - Qualia


Indie pop artist Alex Stanilla recently released Qualia, an LP that bends the barriers of the genre to give listeners a blissful soundtrack to the happenings of every day life. 
The album begins with “Changing,” a dreamlike song that epitomizes the hectic flow of  living in your own head amidst the ever-changing pace of the world, and that certain someone keeping you grounded. Lyrics like,  “I was never sure/you just seemed so perfect/you and all your curves…you just seemed so clean/I can smell your perfume,” are wrapped in a melody that, along with the dissonance of the track and reverberated vocals, come to life for an opening track that will entice listeners. 
Next up comes “My Luck,” picking up the pace just enough to bring listeners back from the brink of meditation that the first track undoubtedly induced. Lines like, “That’s my love/I can never get close enough/close enough to you,” add even more energy to the already compelling music. Stanilla’s smooth but wavering vocals add a unique genuine factor to the song, and gang vocals at the end solidify it. 
Stanilla keeps pace with “Arcadia,” following similar suit with smooth and fantasy-driven music and raw but polished vocals. His voice contradicts the music in a perfect way, creating enough discord to keep listeners interested without causing disharmony.
 “Hyde” starts as more stripped down in the beginning and slowly brings in other studio produced effects. It has less intensity than previous tracks for a brief respite, while still maintaining the music’s mind-gripping effect. Stanilla adds a more obvious acoustic track in this song, showing off his natural music ability alongside the enigmatic craft of production on this album. 
Following is a song titled, “Quiet Kids,” a whimsical track with a quicker stride to awaken listeners from the lull of previous songs. “You really think that the quietest kids become the saddest adults/and that’s one way I’m just like you,” adds a tinge of reality to a rather eccentric sounding album without taking away the youthful quality that the song emits. The music behind the lyrics is weightless, giving off a simplistic, innocent vibe. 
“Birds” begins with a very light percussion, before introducing a vocal track that adds a hollow and free energy to a more structured beat. There is enough organization in the track to make for a solid song, but not so much as to let listeners know what to expect next. The somewhat sporadic percussion continues throughout the song, lulling listeners like raindrops on their bedroom window. 
“Candy” follows, opening with the same soothing quality that Stanilla created throughout the album. Its pace is somewhere in the middle of the tracks introduced so far, settling on a happy medium for the artist. This song has a similar vibe to many hit songs of the indie pop genre, with layered, imperfect vocals and a distinguishable beat. It clearly follows the musical vision Stanilla depicts with enough variation to make the track stand out. 
Next up is “Anhedonia,” a term defined as the inability to feel pleasure. Much unlike the title of the song, this track does the exact opposite right from the beginning. It starts with a futuristic, nearly techno beat before bringing in a slow and pleasant vocal track. When the chorus kicks in, the music slows, but intensifies. Stanilla brings the two beats together about halfway through the song for a result that really builds by the end. 
Finishing off the album is Dexter Ave, beginning with a deeper male lead vocal track enhanced by a softer feminine backup. This song is the last bit of vigor that Stanilla needed to create a complete, well-rounded album. The layered vocals at the end create somewhat of an anthem as the lead verse is surrounded harmoniously by multi-layer “oohs.”  Stanilla maintains the gang vocals in the last verse as well, making the song a huge finish to the LP. 
With Qualia, Alex Stanilla breaches the boundaries of indie pop to create an album that transcends the genre. While it’s comparable to other albums in the indie pop catalogue, Qualia has something unique that can only be understood by listening. It’s bigger, louder and stronger without becoming overwhelming. It’s enough of everything, but not too much of anything. Overall, Qualia is a well compiled subset of indie music from an all around artist of words and music. Settle in and have a listen, it will be worth the quiet time.

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- Casey Wolfe
Oregano Entertainment Network

- Mike Oregano 🌿 
Oregano Entertainment Network,
Oregano Records

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