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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Sep 8th, 2014

QVALIA: This Is the Color of My Dreams

Qvalia QVALIA
This Is the Color of My Dreams
(Qvalia Records)

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QVALIA’s debut, This Is the Color of My Dreams, is a danceable melange of soaring vocals from Michael Hazani (who plays guitar as well and created this project) Shawn Crowder’s drumming (it sounds like programming too) and Pierluigi Salami’s keys.

Simple plinky keys from Salami, programmed slow drum beat from Crowder and Hazani’s lilting, high voice are evident on the opener, “Sound the Alarm.” Then we’re in true ’80s sound-alike pop territory with “Breach.” There’s a fat keys-bass here that keeps the high-tuned drum pad groove going to a singable chorus. The slightly sad sounding “Stardust” follows. This trio has the formula down perfectly for sparse but moving verses into big dramatic choruses. (It also doesn’t hurt that Hazani’s vocals are so expressive.)

I like the single-note melody line of “The Feel of Not to Feel It” and in fact would have liked an even longer instrumental intro. But again there is a lot of space here in the verses, Hazani whisper-sings them, then doubles a good harmony over dripping keys and tuned synth pad hits of Crowder.

“White as Bones” has a clocklike ticking back beat and Salami floating in all over, from beginning piano/synth push to ploppy xylophone backing into synth runs in the big choruses. Here we get upfront snippets and solid worked-in guitar from Hazani as well and we get the full use of Hazani’s great voice floating over the soundscape of keys on the poignant call of ender “150.”

A pretty solid use of few instruments, infectious songwriting and leader Michael Hazani’s voice sees  QVALIA’s debut album working well.

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QVALIA: This Is the Color of My Dreams