Qualia is the solo music project of Dan Leader, based in Cambridge UK.
The project began exclusively as an instrumental post-rock/ambient endeavour in 2010, and after a few (unreleased/lost) albums of experimenting released the first full album in 2011, with the second only a few months after.
The first 18 months of Qualia from (and including) the debut album ‘Vert’ were highly prolific, resulting in 6 full length albums and 1 EP exclusively within the (now rather clichéd) post rock sound.
With the 2013 release ‘Beginnings’, a conscious decision was made to move forward from the confines of one genre, and while still instrumental and rooted in post-rock and ambient music, was less focused on crescendos than previous and incorporated more elements of acoustic sounds and textures.
The same summer saw the release of ‘Everything Is Going To Be Fine’, the first Qualia double album. While this was more of a return to the post-rock from before ‘Beginnings’ there was much more of a focus on textures, acoustics and atmosphere than these earlier albums, as well as much more realised.
The more album-focused, atmosphere-based music and departure from the typical crescendo-driven structures has continued on since then, with the biggest departure from this being 2016’s ‘In the Heart Of A Dying Machine’, a noisy, synthesiser-based double concept album, the second half being one track an hour in length.
This release also saw the introduction of vocals and semi-traditional song structures, and since then each release has seen this continue, although with a greater emphasis on acoustic guitar, with the most recent album ‘Lost’ being the most song-driven album to date.