Parallel - Press Kit

parallel band photo

Parallel - Band Links

Bandcamp: paralleloakland.bandcamp.com
Instagram: @paralleldreaming
Facebook: facebook.com/paralleloakland

High Resolution Photo: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2525/5672/files/parallel-band-photo.jpg
Photo Credit: Tash de Valois

Parallel - "Blister" Single

Emerging from Oakland, California’s vibrant independent music scene, Parallel draws inspiration from the introspective depths of post-punk and the ethereal beauty of shoegaze. Their uniqueness lies in the seamless integration of dense, brooding vibes with airier, ethereal qualities. The result is a lush yet austere palette, both sparse and overflowing—a sound that shimmers with a dark and delicate beauty. Tracks build slowly into complex, multilayered compositions, referencing the gothic psychedelia of The Chameleons and Sad Lovers and Giants alongside the minimalist atmospherics of bands like Slowdive, Low, and Wire. This dual nature is a hallmark of their style, offering a modern take on the classic elements of dream pop, slowcore, and post-punk.

For all of its bombast, Parallel is also a project defined by its constraints. From the project’s beginning, the band opted to forgo the use of distortion pedals entirely in favor of clean tones drenched in chorus and delay effects, emphasizing songwriting over the stompbox gymnastics usually associated with the shoegaze and dream pop genres.

Parallel's music is characterized by its ability to conjure deep emotions through lyrical content buoyed by dynamic sonic environments. Their song "Blister" is a prime example, using evocative elemental imagery to sketch the contours of loss and possibility, exploring the ways these seemingly contradictory emotional states reflect and invoke one another. The instrumentation complements this thematic depth, with layered guitar riffs that blend into each other, creating a hypnotic loop that mirrors the cyclical nature of inner experience.

This track drifts into existence with only a whisper, a spellbinding melody that curls around the senses as dual voices interweave into an emerging world of sound. As the lyrics suggest, the melody winds between the tangible and the intangible, painting images of fog-shrouded terrain. Single guitar notes emerge later, carrying the listener along and ushering the song to its soaring conclusion.

The essence of "Blister" lies in those whispered confessions, notes resonating with the intimacy of stolen moments. The rhythm pulses with an irresistible beat, tapping into something both simple and sophisticated. It compels the body to move, mirroring the pull between ruin and promise.

The vocals modulate between vulnerability and strength, echoing the lyrics’ expression of both the generative and destructive aspects of desire. As the track progresses, the singers blend seamlessly with the instrumentation, painting a dreamscape that is both haunting and undeniably beautiful.

"Blister" is an experience, an invitation to step beyond the ordinary. It lingers on the edge of reality, where endings become beginnings and fevered lust blurs with something deeper: a promise whispered in ruin, the glimpse of "new sight" beyond the burned-out remnants of the familiar.

The band's approach is not just about sound but also about creating an immersive experience, their performances and recordings drawing listeners into a reflective state. This distinctive style not only distinguishes them within the crowded landscape of alternative music but also resonates deeply with fans who find a piece of themselves in the haunting melodies and introspective lyrics of Parallel.

Formed in the fall of 2019, Parallel started writing songs in their drummer Maria's basement during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, producing the first batch of songs that would come to define the sound that they have continued to refine over the past five years. The members of Parallel have a long history within the DIY scene in both Oakland and beyond, releasing music and touring with a variety of projects including Ragana, Nothing Natural, Negative Standards, and Romantic Feelings.

The band entered Atomic Garden Studios in the summer of 2021 to record with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta). These sessions produced a well-received self-titled cassette released on Bay Area DIY stalwarts Cherub Dream Records, with lead single “Orchid” making waves both locally and abroad when it received heavy rotation on the
popular shoegaze radio station DKFM.

Making their live debut a few months later, Parallel quickly made a name for themselves in the Bay Area, sharing the stage with bands across the spectrum of punk, darkwave, and indie, including Bestial Mouths, Generación Suicida, Daiistar, Maria BC, and Haunt Me. A subsequent West Coast tour saw Parallel traveling as far as Tijuana and Vancouver, BC, and the band is planning to head to the East Coast and Midwest in early 2025 to support their upcoming record. More recently, the band was invited to open for the legendary Mount Eerie at San Francisco’s historic Great American Music Hall as part of the 2023 SF Noise Pop festival. Parallel also contributed a track to Psychic Eye Records’ “The Ancient Wall” compilation CD, joining more than forty projects including Twin Tribes, Topographies, and Aurat to raise funds for Palestinians displaced by the war on Gaza and unhoused people struggling to survive in Oakland.

Parallel returned to the Atomic Garden Studios in 2023 to record "Flooded", a six-track mini-album coming out in July 2024 as a 12” record and cassette on Play Alone Records and Cherub Dream Records. The album builds on the project’s established sound with more dynamic song structures, a more expansive lyrical palette, and an emphasis on intricate vocal harmonies and interweaving dual-guitar melodies. The album’s lyrics take an interest in the fleeting transitions between emotional states, exploring “flooded” intensities like desire, rage, loss, and despair and the moments of suspension and dislocation that often frame them. “Blister” is the debut single from the album, and will be released on Bandcamp, Spotify, and other streaming platforms beginning on May 15th.

 Blister Lyrics:

in ruin, a promise
an ending, enraptured

beyond a monument
(light yields to the pleasure of all at once)
in the haze, a land behind
(in the shadow of a fever, is this lust?)
new sight
(falling, no halo i can trust)

in ruin, a promise
an ending, enraptured

beyond a monument
glimmer, vast
(far in the reaches of)

a promise
enraptured

fade, wither, shine
like the blister of a burnt-out century

Reviews

Razorcake

Starting off with an Interpol-meets-The-Chameleons sound, this is a perfect dream pop gem. The male/female vocal harmonies add a ton to these songs, the male vocals handling the drone while the female vocals cover more of an ethereal sound. The music doesn’t leap past mid to slow tempos and drawn-out guitar patterns. Great production and vibe. I could see this band pairing well with the likes of DIIV, Beach Fossils, or Castlebeat.

Thoughts Action Vision

Parallel is an Oakland-based band that immediately blew me away with their ideas and musicianship. I was immediately stunned by their sound since I heard the introductory composition, but the remainder of the material is equally good.
This self-titled EP release carries six excellent songs, enhanced by the elements borrowed from many complimentary genres. Also, it’s not so easy to define their primary music direction because Parallel combines several genres at once. Perhaps shoegaze comes to mind at first. However, other ingredients like dream pop, coldwave, new wave, indie, and post-punk are lurking in the mix. You’ll have difficulties defining their music, but there’s no doubt you’ll love how they combine shoegaze with post-punk, dream pop with coldwave, and, after all, some sonic movements that are one of the main properties of contemporary indie music. It’s nearly mindblowing how all these elements work together in harmony throughout the entire material without spoiling each other. It is the main reason why this cassette differs from other releases presented on the shoegaze scene nowadays.

The band also paid a lot of attention to aesthetics. Each composition differs, and you may hear how the eighties, nineties, and contemporary scenes inspired these musicians to write, compose, and record such an outstanding EP. Still, their self-titled EP sounds compact from beginning to end, and you’ll get the impression that you listened to one longevous composition with countless segments and themes. You will fall in love with this material if you love reverby, clean-sounding chord progressions, moderate rhythmic sequences, and dual vocals. Parallel is a highly recommended band for those profoundly into echoic, melancholic shoegaze enhanced with elements borrowed from other complementary genres.

Queen City Sounds and Arts

The gently cascading guitar riffs of Parallel’s single “Drench” from its 2022 self-titled album hits the ear with shades of Slowdive and A Shoreline Dream with a hint of more lo-fi production. Its drifty structure and dual vocal melodies are at times reminiscent of The Prids or Molchat Doma especially in the way the performances feel elegant and intuitive. Guitar melodies strike high and descend to land in a hypnotic loop that carries you through a bittersweet memory that haunts you from a significant and transitional point in your life when memories made have real resonance and endurance for the long term and become part of your identity. There’s something about these kinds of memories that feel special and significant in often elusive ways yet Parallel captures the emotional energy of them well.