We’re glad to announce that Oakland, United States-based dream-pop band Parallel have released their self-titled debut EP.
Influenced by bands such as The Chameleons, Sad Lovers and Giants, Slowdive, Wire, and Low, Parallel craft beautiful and ethereal dream-pop that traverses isolation, anxiety, and despair against ghostly walls of sound. The members of Parallel—Kristin (bass and vocals), David (guitar and vocals), Estella (guitar), and Maria (drums)—are also involved with several Bay Area mainstays.
Having started playing together in the fall of 2019, they then wrote the bulk of their debut EP while masked and distanced in their drummer Maria’s basement. Parallel played their live debut in July 2021, and are currently on a West Coast tour from Vancouver to Tijuana.
Parallel’s self-titled debut EP was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at Atomic Garden, and was released on Cherub Dream Records in April 2022. As for many recent releases, it was written predominantly during the pandemic; and that familiar sense of longing, anxiety and isolation looms large over the record; “a rainbow, captured in shades of gray,” as the band describe their sound.
The EP opens with “Drench,” which conjures an expansive shoegaze soundscape characterized by lush, reverb-laden electric guitar melodies and dreamlike vocals; while hypnotic drumming and a dynamic bass line sustain the song’s trancelike atmosphere and cozily melancholic mood. The next track is “Static Slide,” which perpetuates the feeling of being in a wide-open space awash in atmospheric guitar reverb. There is a bit more emphasis in this track on powerful drumming as well as on the ethereal vocal melodies, which harmonize perfectly with the guitars and build nicely on the track’s dreamily distant feeling.
The third track, “Orchid,” was the lead single from the EP, aptly blooming beautifully and sweet, yet with a looming sense of longing. A little over a minute into the track, the song’s patiently evolving sound momentarily highlights the hypnotic foundation of the bass and drums as they play alone, before the mesmeric guitars and vocal harmonies return and later take listeners through a wonderfully surreal chord progression towards the end of the track. The brisk tempo of “Bring Me Down” and its dynamic guitar melodies then create a more buoyant atmosphere, yet without losing the undercurrent of melancholy that runs throughout the EP.
“Field of Love” conveys a pleasantly contemplative mood, with its laid-back rhythms and layered guitar melodies filtered through delay- and reverb effects, perfectly accompanying the song’s patiently unfolding vocal passages; while “Precocious” then closes the EP and is characterized by more upbeat, post-punk-inspired rhythms which nicely mesh with the hazy guitar- and vocal textures.
Parallel’s self-titled EP is quite an impressive debut release, and a compellingly engaging listen throughout; at the same time that the songs on the EP convey the wistful feelings of isolation that listeners will surely relate to, their powerfully dreamy atmospheres also bring about a relaxing sense of tranquility. Highly recommended.
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