Alex Stanilla, a young electronic/analog artist from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, started writing songs as a teenager. Over the years, his keen interest in the ways of new-age thought, consciousness, and the similarly-branded works of others such as Bill Hicks, George Carlin, and Alan Watts, have all had a hand in influencing Alex’s sonic expression.
As a quick follow-up to early 2017’s Backyard, Alex returns with, Qualia. Said Stanilla of his latest offering, “The songs are more like impressions or sketches, and they were written in a stream of conscious manner, with little regard for song structure.”
Further expanding on the album’s unique title, Alex continues, “I heard the term “Qualia” when I was mixing the album and watching a show about future technology. I felt the definition—the internal and subjective component of sense perceptions, arising from stimulation of the senses by phenomena—really described my writing and recording process for the album.”
As a whole, we found the ambient, synth-ride know as Qualia to be quite entertaining.
Here’s what we dug most…
Our Favorite Track:
Opening with, My Luck, Stanilla creates a rich and dreamy ocean of celestial melodies—right out of the gate. If the unpredictable and free-radical nature of falling in love had a particular sound…it would be this song. A free-for-all of electro-rhythms, ultra-processed vocals, and delayed guitars, ensconce one simple idea…
Layers of synth unite with Stanilla’s vocal timbre on, Arcadia, a track which is immediately reminiscent of 80’s dance-pop legends, Pet Shop Boys. Lyrically, the content has a sense of authentic, millennial ambiguity; which is not to suggest a negative. More so, it’s intriguingly honest…
“I’ve been capped and cast a caste of past expense of immense
I really thought that I’d outgrown
This disillusion of the unknown
I guess that’s how it goes
I cut my hand on thorns
I ruined all my clothes
And I’m not sure what I learned
I’m not sure what I learned”
Strange Promises considers time, and love, yet offers no answers for either…an exciting change of pace from pop culture’s typical black and white declarations of false wisdom. Musically, it follows suit with its predecessors with layers of dreamy, delayed vocals and synth, and plenty of open space between lyrics to enjoy the ride.
Concluding the album is Dexter Avenue. Here, Stanilla’s farewell track articulates a broken heart with an alt-synth-rock track that is vocally reminiscent of the 80’s, Thomas Dolby. The song alternates dynamically between moments of minimalist keys and electric guitar licks—back to Qualia’s trademark tsunami of syth-drenched sound.
Sensitive, thought provoking “Laptop Pop.” A refreshing blend of digital and analog instrumentation wrapped in a modest, bedroom aesthetic.
—Alex Stanilla describing his music
All in all, Alex Stanilla’s sophomore effort, Qualia, at its very least is creative; and at its very best is seriously, wildly entertaining. Time and time again, the hip-hop-esque rhythmic influences collide with 80’s-like synth excursions to create an impressive and exciting collage of sound and meaning. I keep thinking, this is 80’s music as it “should have” been.
Moreover, Stanilla’s dynamic, abstract songwriting and melody/creation are both new to my ears, and flat-out refreshing. All sonic considerations aside, lyrically, Alex throws caution to the wind, and offers compelling content which engages listeners, offering a depth and heart not currently common to the electro-pop genre. I don’t rate music. If I did, this album would get most of the stars.
Bastille meets Pet Shop Boys…
BELOW: Check out our full artist interview with Alex Stanilla, listen to music from his album, Qualia, connect with his social media platforms, watch his music video, check out his live show/tour schedule, and find his booking & contact information. Please support Alex Stanilla by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Read our full artist interview with Alex Stanilla:
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Watch Alex Stanilla’s music video for the song Strange Promises:
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Booking & contact information for Alex Stanilla:
Email: jimhydewearsjeans (at) gmail.com
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