Starting in 2014 in Brussels, Quantum Dot quickly establish a distinct sound and personality by flawlessly merging organic instrumentals (bass, guitars, piano, violin) with digitally reworked and refined mixes and electronic counterparts.
After the stunning conceptual full-length Deschooling Society (2016), followed by several creatively diverse singles, Quantum Dot are ready to let us into an era characterized by newly found creative power, more life-inspired stories, and even funkier tunes. Together with Thorunn Egilsdottir (When ‘Airy Met Fairy), who joined the band in 2020, Quantum Dot is teasing the exciting next stage with single Breaking Bones – a truly addictive and unexpectedly vicious piece.
I am delighted to share my impressions of the band and my interview with the trio regarding the upcoming EP, Random Casualties.
With debut EP Brussels (2015) and following full-length Deschooling Society (2016), Quantum Dot display an agile, well-working fusion of pop-influenced melodies, 80s synth tunes, industrial and avant-garde sounds. The band adds sprinkles of groovy funk, notable jazz moments, and contemporary (even futuristic) electronica.
The result is stunning – the charm and energy of the group are infectious and long-lasting.
The testament to the unique sound, charm and musical value of Quantum Dot is certainly 2016’s Deschooling Society. The record could easily pass as a concept piece united under the grand message of confronting mundane everyday apathy and how much more there is to life.
Why have we forgotten how to find joy in each day and how do we shake away the crawling depression of the nine-to-five work culture?
The first impression from Deschooling Society is likely the ease with which the band transforms your surroundings into a peaceful and calm environment. They slowly pull apart whatever stress, worries, and concerns might be occupying your mind to unveil a space of perfect harmony.
That is achieved with ethereal instrumentals and soundscapes that graciously descend thanks to the well-paced intro (the title track itself).
The record continues developing as a consuming, immersive narrative unveiling the groovy beats and instrumentals merged with soothing and calm vocals. Playful lyrics dance around with feelings of devastating apathy and melancholy induced by the trapping nine-to-five lifestyle.
There’s more to life than runningThe World We Live In
In a wheel day after day
There must be another way
Deschooling Society remains unforced, undemanding, and easy to completely give into. Its force unforgivingly pulls us in, earning our complete surrender to Quantum Dot’s fascinating universe. The minimal lyricism leaves room for the masterful instrumentals that (often) take over for a de-stressing session and a brooding, pleasant-to-get-lost-into vibe.
Interesting futuristic-inspired moments appear side by side with creative vocal stunts and organic-digital instrumental blends (strikingly effective in Other Side).
The unintrusive vocals strike at the right time to complete the escape from reality and help unburden the listener (or inspired self-reflection and realization – it all depends on the mood) for forty blissful minutes.
The album is an existential dissection to a large extent. It shows us the reality of today’s lifestyle – the depersonification we go through, the obsession with careers and money, the fall into a slumber of melancholy and apathy.
Quantum Dot don’t force-feed us a rebel yell against the matrix or shout at us to open our eyes. They simply lay out facts and gently clarify one thing: despite everything going on, there is joy in everyday life, and it’s always worth living a little more.
The night is shining brightThe Night
I’m looking at the sky
Counting what I see
Astonished by the calm around me
It all looks fine and peaceful
All in place and meaningful
The contrast between depressing repetition and beauty in simplicity is almost as stark as the organic instrumentals and their digital renditions. With a fitting interlude break around the middle (A Ticket To Space) and an impeccable closing (Infinite Loop), the record remains an impressively smooth journey that leaves just the right amount of room for breath before taking it all again.
At the end of it all, we feel a sense of comfort because we know that even if things are not right at the moment, they surely can change direction.
Empowerment, inspiration, and a burning lust for life are the aftertaste cocktail of Deschooling Society.
The rules are easy to understandCollars White And Blue
The more you play the more you win
Keep on moving till the end
Don’t lose the spin
Quantum Dot’s latest single, Breaking Bones, is a gateway to the band’s new era. The enticing opening of the forthcoming EP Random Casualties (October 14th) clearly signifies the newly discovered inspiration and musical evolution.
Breaking Bones has the familiar presence of Quantum Dot reflected in the organic-digital instrumental blends and meticulous melody arrangement. The soothing, peaceful vocals persist as well, but the band introduces a more energetic sound based on rhythm and confident, almost aggressive moments.
The new chapter starts with consuming tectonic soundscapes and a brooding atmosphere gracefully fulfilled with the help of Thorunn Egilsdottir (When ‘Airy Met Fairy). New narratives built from sound, lyrics, and visuals open up – an indispensable element is the accompanying music video directed by Frenchman Raphael Kindig. He has simply completed the idea of the song.
We like the contrast between sound and meaning and we wanted to reflect that feeling in our music video. Two actors depict how power has shifted over to the woman. She’s broken-hearted but has no empathy for her former lover whose head is kept in a cheese bell. Whatever he did, it must have been bad…Frenchman Raphael Kindig
Breaking Bones wins hearts with the sweet, carefree allure of dreamy vocals and dynamic, dancy beats and instrumentals.
However, the lyrics and video get progressively disturbing and grotesque, which is essential for the song’s emotional impact. Breaking Bones explores the unfathomable power of a person overcoming heartbreak via self-appreciation, self-respect, and lack of empathy and regret for the person who hurt them.
The video and lyrics depict the shift of power and control in an ended relationship and the mightiness of not letting the person who broke your heart rule over you.
This is the sound you’ll hear when I’m breaking bones
This might be the most important track of Quantum Dot to date – the musical and lyrical evolution, the conceptual refinement, and the ability to elevate their unique artistic persona to such a level are heartwarming and truly exciting.
Random Causalities is, without a doubt, one of the releases we need to keep on the top of our minds.
Gripped by the appeal of Quantum Dot’s early work and the literal new age of creativity and musical evolution displayed with Breaking Bones, I was thrilled to get a “yes” for an interview with the trio.
Peeking into their minds and getting details about the upcoming EP Random Casualties has been an absolute pleasure, and I want to send my biggest “thank you” to the band and their team for making this happen. I highly value the passion and enthusiasm they all put into this conversation!
Before you jump into their minds and learn all you need to know about Random Casualties, the journey since Deschooling Society, why I sent an emergency letter to Thom Yorke, and what Thorunn, Patrick, and Lionel are currently listening to, make sure you follow Quantum Dot on their official website, Spotify, YouTube, and Facebook!
Congratulations on the release of Breaking Bones! The track is a splendid display of your unending creativity and the admirable coherence of musical curiosity, lyrical mastery, and video supplementation.
Thorunn: Wow, thanks for these kind words. You just made our day!
I want to start by asking, how do you view the relationship between music (instrumentals/beats), lyrics, emotional translation, and visual elements in art?
Thorunn: We are many different people working together. That is where audio meets visuals. And at the source of it is life, providing stories and, more importantly, meaning.
Quantum Dot’s sound and overall energy are truly fascinating. How did you find such an interesting balance between organic instrumentals, digital renditions, and various music inspirations to create that all-embracing, immersive atmosphere?
Patrick: Our musical influences are very diverse. When we compose songs, we try to integrate our influences and combine them with electronic music.
On the one hand, we use acoustic elements such as (bass, piano, violin, etc.) to have a more organic texture. On the other hand, we use virtual instruments (synth, pads, etc.) to have the electronic side.
Lionel: I think what is interesting is that we all have completely different backgrounds. Thorunn is from Iceland, Patrick is from Cape Verde, and I’m from Belgium.
Additionally, I have more of a traditional musical background since I studied classical piano growing up, but Patrick is more of a hip-hop guy.
What would you say is Quantum Dot’s artistic duty?
Thorunn: That’s an interesting question because we have never thought of it as our duty. In a way, you are absolutely right, though. As musicians, it is our duty to create.
The creative process allows us, humans, to externalize our interior. In our case, it’s about making people feel good. Maybe even get them to tilt their hips and put a smile on their face. That would feel very rewarding to us.
Breaking Bones is a thrilling teaser of your upcoming EP Random Causalities (October 14th), and it indicates a fascinating growth since Deschooling Society (2016).
Thorunn: I wasn’t part of Quantum Dot back then, but when we first met in the studio in 2020, we clicked instantly. I think you can hear when there is mutual respect. I guess those types of Studio Sessions pick up the positive vibe.
Lio: Exactly. This collaboration definitely worked great and had an instant flow to it. Deschooling Society seems like a long time ago, and we have learned a lot since then.
It’s amazing how adding one person to a project can change the whole atmosphere of the songs!
Should we expect a similar sound for the rest of the EP, or should we prepare for more surprises?
Thorunn: Oh, none of the songs are twins. Each and every one tells its own story. My voice tends to awaken rather melancholic sentiments, but my work with Quantum Dot allows me to be a little more playful and less dark.
I mean, I’m ‘only’ dismembering my ex in Breaking Bones.
What would you say are the main inspirations behind Random Causalities in terms of sound, lyrics, emotions, and overall concepts?
Thorunn: I am a bag full of emotions. Therefore, inspiration always comes from my own personal life. People who break my heart or friends and family members going through hard times have the biggest impact on me. In Breaking Bones, we are clearly obsessing over people that are on the cluster b spectrum.
Lio: In terms of sound, we really like playing around with synthesizers until we’re happy with the result. That can sometimes take a super long time! We like to experiment with unconventional things like playing some samples in reverse or using the bass for melodies.
The draft of the song is often made rather quickly, but the selection of sounds and effects can take weeks!
You must be excited to share the EP with the world. What are you looking forward to most in relation to the release, and do you have a favourite track you can’t wait for people to hear?
Thorunn: We were ready long ago but postponed the release for many months. It’s a huge relief to finally get it out there, hopefully for many to discover and enjoy.
My personal favourite is Okay. With few words, it navigates through life, making peace with the fact that we are mortals. I’m a melancholic person, and I like to be reminded that I should appreciate every single moment. Anything else is wasting time.
How would you describe Random Causalities if it was a feeling?
Thorunn: Random Causalities is my wake-up call that I like to give myself from time to time, so I remember to soak it all up, good or bad, so I can live in the now.
Lionel: As Thorunn says in one of the songs of the EP:
“It’s okay if everything goes to dust”.
For Breaking Bones, you worked with Frenchman Raphael Kindig to deliver an elevating music video, making the song even more impactful. How would you describe this collaboration, and are you planning to make more of that sort (meaning complementing/conceptual music videos)?
Thorunn: I’m the one who brought Raphael into this collaboration. He has been doing all of our music videos for WHEN ‘AIRY MET FAIRY.
Raphael is a visual artist and is very good at adding meaning to lyrics. Usually, he tries to unpack the obvious and then rewrap it in a completely new way. I like that. It brings new ideas and a different perspective. So it never really gets boring.
Speaking of collaborations – do you have any artists you would love to work with on a future track?
Thorunn: Please tell Thom York that I’m dying to sing a song with him. After a duet, I can die a happy person.
What comes for Quantum Dot after Random Causalities, if it’s not too early to ask that?
Thorunn: We are definitely continuing our collaboration. It just feels way too genuine to end here. But first, we have to get our current EP out there.
I always end my interviews with music inspiration – what have you guys been recently obsessed with that we should all hear?
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