April 24, 2024

New Fury Media

Music. Gaming. Nostalgia. Culture.

With “Quantum Flux”, Northlane changed their future + the music scene forever in one song

If you have a favorite band or musician, chances are they have a signature song. Whether that’s because it ends up being a fan favorite that becomes an undroppable song on a setlist, said artist’s most popular song, or one that has a particularly strong message, it’s likely a song that has had a massive impact on those who took part in its creation. Incubus has “Drive”, “Pardon Me”, and “Wish You Were Here” (to name three), Erra has “Snowblood”, and Story Of The Year has “Until The Day I Die”. You get the picture – the aforementioned songs are integral to their identities.

The same can be said for Northlane’s 2013 single “Quantum Flux”, culled from the Australian progressive metalcore band’s sophomore album, Singularity. At the time of the song’s release, Northlane had gained momentum with their debut full-length, Discoveries. Peaking at #85 on the ARIA charts in 2011, the album’s strong start and developing sound gave Northlane a strong foundation, and it happened just as like-minded bands like Monuments, Tesseract, and Erra were starting to gain traction of their own. Whether it was the charismatic voice of Adrian Fitipaldes (now Adrian Querva) or the well-timed nature of the release, it cranked up the hype for Singularity to a level reserved for some of the biggest bands to emerge from Australia.

Enter “Quantum Flux”. Northlane fans who had only Hollow Existence, Discoveries, and previously-released new single “Worldeater” to go by, were undoubtedly shocked by what they heard. With more focus on atmosphere and vibe than ever before, the song’s positivity and expressed joy for life was a breath of fresh air in the music scene. One listen to the song even now, and the lyrical positivity comes across as realistic and not cliched. And it’s eminently relatable to the average person, especially to any artist or musician wondering if the hard work they put in will make an impact. “Quantum Flux” is a song for those with big dreams, goals, and a future that a listener might see as just out of reach.

This isn’t a song that sacrifices musicality for intentional wider appeal, though. The powerhouse team of guitarists Josh Smith and Jonathan Deiley really come into their own on the song, delivering high-quality riffs and melodies that provide “Quantum Flux” a strong foundation. Drummer Nic Pettersen also demands your attention with a prolific performance, never playing more than needs to be heard, and where every note has a distinct purpose. Both on “Quantum Flux” and the album as a whole, Pettersen’s growth as a musician between albums #1 and #2 is truly staggering to behold. And Adrian’s vocal performance? The passion displayed comes from honest and thoughtful experience, and when he asks the listener “why can’t you see the joy of life is right before your eyes?”, it’s enough to make even the most hardened heart gain a new perspective on things. Finding beauty in nature, art, and within yourself all feel like natural extensions of what “Quantum Flux” is all about.

Filled with a charged atmosphere and a genuinely positive message of ambition + appreciating the good experiences in life, it quickly became Northlane’s breakout hit. Singularity ended up debuting at #3 in Australia, and its reception and success helped Northlane take their talents worldwide. To this day, it’s still a live staple for the band, and while Adrian left Northlane after the album’s release, it’s probably not a surprise that he became a psychologist. Incredible stuff. The song has had so much impact on the scene that it’s hard to imagine Northlane ever being able to drop it from their setlists, but why would they want to? Despite their musical growth (and vocalist Marcus Bridge helming the band post-Singularity), it’s the song that best represents Northlane and all they were trying to achieve in their early years. Sometimes it takes one album to make an impact, but Northlane delivered an equivalent effort with just one song.

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