It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Parallels, the popular, pioneering synthwave band fronted by Holly Dodson. Today that changes. When you experience what’s been cooking, I’m pretty sure you’ll be quite all right with your wait. Factory Sessions is a visual and audio EP featuring a killer live crew, including Florence “Glitbiter” Bullock, and finds Parallels leaning into the essence of a synth-infused rock/new wave act rather than an electronic-forward synthwave project. The result is stunning.
There are reinterpretations of five Parallels songs — “Golden,” “Dry Blood,” “Fantastique,” “Happier,” and “Alchemy,” in addition to a blisteringly kinetic cover of Blondie’s “Dreaming.” Below, Vehlinggo showcases the particularly powerful iteration of “Golden” for you to experience. You can also click through to a special landing page to see all the Brad A. Kinnan-directed videos. (You can also snag the audio album through Bandcamp and other platforms.).
The live band features Dodson, naturally, and Bullock on synths and backing vox, but there is also Colin Knighton on guitar and Christopher Pedraza on drums. According to Dodson, “factory” isn’t just a fun naming convention. They actually recorded this one day in 2022 in an old factory space in LA.
“It was like 83 degrees that day with barely any airflow in the space, so we were all melting by the end of it,” she told Vehlinggo. “But we wanted it to feel like a live gig, so it was definitely true to that.”
“The songs come to life in a new way when they’re played live off the floor — a little more rock ‘n roll, glam — whereas the recorded versions are more electronic, so I wanted to capture that sound and magic,” Dodson said. “It’s also a visual EP. I really wanted to showcase my bandmates.”
For the visuals, Kinnan told Vehlinggo he had a clear, hyper-focused vibe in mind.
“I wanted to create a visual aesthetic that took inspiration from the ideas that drive Parallels — retro-futurism, new wave, and a little bit of early MTV sensibility,” he said. “Ultimately, something that would feel familiar to the fans, but move the narrative forward into a more performance driven, art-pop future.”
One more time: You can stream the Factory Sessions videos via Parallels’ site; and you can also listen to the audio EP via streaming platforms and listen to and download it via Bandcamp.