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This excellent project was originally formed in 2000 by Jason McFarland as a solo recording artist experimenting in various audio and digital manipulation.  He was soon joined by heavenly vocalist Sara Payne and this duo became what we know today as QstandsforQ.  Hailing from near Salt Lake City, Utah, they started to produce and record music landing a release with one of the local indie record labels Eden's Watchtower Records. They started releasing music as early as 2001 and include several tapes, EPs and a couple of albums, their latest being released in 2005 under the title In Dreams Awake.  The band has had many chances to play live and have put on great performances for local fans each time, sometimes calling upon friends for additional live instrumental support.  They have played alongside many other local bands and include performances with Hungry Lucy and Bloodwire among others.

The music from this band is best described as dreamy darkwave ethereal.  Like SoulWhirlingSomewhere they use somber acoustic guitar to match the somber moods.  Like Faith and Disease and VR they use haunting melodies and minimalistic elements to create their slow-moving pieces.  Both members lend their vocals for a mix of dreamy ethereal with low, almost psychadelic moods.  Fans will really enjoy their music especially those of any of these related bands and many other ethereal and darkwave bands, especially those that use a lot of acoustic and wandering, dreamy elements.

Readers may ask the question of where the name QstandsforQ comes from.  This answer is given from band members, "The name, QstandsforQ, was inspired by the question people would ask in reference to the letter �Q� sewn on a hooded sweatshirt Jason wore. There was never any one correct answer; the meaning was always whatever was fancied in the moment. Likewise, QstandsforQ hope to evolve and create music that is open to interpretation and individual experience."  With that we hope to continue to hear new music released from this band continuing to evolve yet maintaining the same dreamy, ethereal styles we've grown to love from the past.



In Dreams Awake - Review

After listening to different selections from this group, including their excellent additions to their label's Christmas compilation album, it was a great pleasure to finally hear another full-length release. This album presents some of the best minimal, acoustic and ethereal music of 2005.  Like the music contained on the disc, the packaging is simple, but beautiful, lacking lyrics so the listener is left to listen or find them elsewhere, but the music is attractive enough that the listener will be inclined to really listen.  The album contains fifteen nicely done selections with a nice intro and a couple of interludes, so overall it's a nice full album as far as quantity goes.

Along with the nice quantity of music, the quality of the album is excellent.  It's kicked off with a wandering, spatialized ambient piece "(hybernation4)" which really becomes more the exception than the norm for this album.  Immediately on the next track the acoustic guitar picks up and becomes the dominant force behind the album coupled with either Jason's slow melancholic vocals or Sara's angelic voice.  Every piece on this album is something excellent, a combination of beautiful woven threads to form an awesome tapestry.

I've listened to this album easily a couple dozen times and each time most of the tracks stand out as excellent pieces that will please any fan.  From the appropriately titled piece "drifting", with Sara's voice undulating along the waves of acoustic guitar and a mixture of dreamy ambient synths, to the poetic movement of "Smiling, eating, breathing" with the hypnotic chorus sung in duet fashion, male and female vocals in unison.  I just can't say enough about each of these pieces, and it just goes on with captivating tracks like "kill or be killed" or "Sinkable Scarlett O'Brien" to just name a couple of the captivating and hypnotic pieces.  The music wanders through these ethereal elements, ambient interludes and mesmerizing melodies until the finale of the album "(Anything but this.)" and pretty much the only piece with actual percussion in it.  All of these selections are memorable and catchy in their own way through experimentation or structured progressions, the listener will be captivated.  Ethereal fans should definitely pick this album up, it's well worth it and highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5



Website: www.myspace.com/qstandsforq
Label: Eden's Watchtower

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