PARALLELS

PARALLELS

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
BandPopSynth

After hitting #1 on Canada's National Electronic Chart in October 2015, Toronto electro-pop trio PARALLELS is back in the studio recording a follow-up to their 'Civilization EP'. NME described front-woman, Holly Dodson’s vocals as "A young Madonna meet’s modern electro”. They can be heard in the soundtrack of 2013 Oscar winning short-film “Curfew” featuring Parallels’ song “Dry Blood”. Holly is joined by her brother, Nick Dodson on drums and keyboardist Artem Galperine on synths.

Band Press

Civilization Video Premiere – Exclaim!

Toronto-based synth-pop crew Parallels return today (June 26) with the follow-up to 2012's XII, delivering their latest EP Civilization. To mark the occasion, Exclaim! is streaming the record in its entirety and premiering the brand new video for the EP's title track.

The band recently shared a cover rendition of New Order's "Age of Consent," which appears on Civilization, though there's also a hearty serving of original material on the new release. From the shimmering opening notes of "IRL" to the title track to the immediately infectious, dancefloor-ready "The Kids Will Save Detroit," the songs are neatly woven together by Holly Dodson's airy yet evocative voice and percussive synth beats that range from total shoegazers to borderline party starters.

As for the new "Civilization" video, it features some brightly lit performance shots cut with background footage of power fields. It was directed by Mark Moliterni.

You can catch Parallels playing in Toronto at the Bovine tonight, in conjunction with Pride Week celebrations. But before you do, scroll down to give Civilization a listen and get the first look at the title track's brand new video.

Parallels' Civilization – Electronic Rumors

Undoubtedly one of Canada’s finest SynthPop exports, Parallels, dropped a surprise new single this week. Now boiled down to a line up of founding member Holly Dodson along with her brother Nick and Artem Galperine, they are currently in the studio working on their eagerly anticipated third album, of with Civilisation is out first proper taste (this year’s other offering being a cover of New Order’s Age Of Consent). The new long player is due out later this year, but in the meantime check out Civilisation, the title track of an upcoming five track EP, below.

Civilisation is a fine introduction to this third-era Parallels. Sparking SynthPop with thoughtful lyrics and a gently catchiness that you can just sink into. The breezy synths that ease you into the track are soon accompanied by Holly’s sweet voice and a an energetic piano that weaves itself in and out of the lush electronics, adding a little urgency to Civilisation. It’s a deceptively complex mixture of classy ElectroPop, introspective Indie-Electro and dancefloor sensibilities that feels effortless when put together. Surprisingly euphoric stuff, we can’t wait to hear more.

The Anti-Hit List for March 17: Gossip, Grimes and … Gowan? – Toronto Star

It’s not as though there’s a huge difference between this cover by Toronto’s first-rate electropop act and the 25-year-old original by Gowan, but the two obvious twists — a more pliable rhythm track, courtesy of former Crystal Castles drummer Cam Findlay, and a sublime female voice, namely that of Holly Dodson — are enough to make this a tiny, perfect slice of Canadiana. Thanks to Garnet Fraser and Alan Cross for pointing the way.

Parallels Push the Electro-Pop Ecstasy Button – Societe Perrier

It’s tempting to tag Parallels — the one-woman studio project of Holly Dodson — as the Madonna to Claire “Grimes” Boucher’s Kate Bush in the musical microverse of new synth-based sirens from Canada who owe an aural debt to ’80s pop. That is to say, the sound Parallels puts out is evocative of Madonna’s early dance-pop classics like “Borderline” and “Holiday” if those tunes were tipped toward the European end of the early-’80s synth-pop spectrum occupied by OMD, Yaz, et al, while Grimes goes into somewhat artier areas. And with the impending arrival of the second Parallels album, rather confusingly titled XII, Dodson’s synth-soaked dance party is soon bound to be drawing an even bigger crowd.

XII is set for a June 26 release via Marigold Records, and the album pursues pop perfection even more proactively than its predecessor, 2010′s Visionaries. If you’re anxious to avail yourself of its pleasures, you can grab the preview cut, “Moonlight Desires,” right now for free. You can also pick up the Time Will Crawl EP, available digitally right now. Or you can catch Parallels on tour, where Dobson’s vision is fleshed out by a full band. Now if we could only figure out who the Eurythmics of new Canadian synth-pop is…

All The Desire One Can Handle – Daytrotter

Sometimes, the temptation of love feels like it's been set down on a treadmill and the pace has been racketed up way, way too hot. It's one of those situations though where you're bound and determined to keep up with the breakneck speed because you'll be damned if you're going to look like a fool in front of the one that you're chasing after, the one that you're trailing. You're huffing and puffing, legs burning, heart obviously pumping a million beats per minute and your plan is just to not lose your feet and get spit off, to skid your face against the moving track and fall awkwardly against the floor. You're going to do everything you can to stay upright and look like you expected it to be like this.

The Toronto band, Parallels, make electro-pop songs that sound as if they are on the treadmill with us, or they're the encouragement that we're hearing blare through the house system as we're pounding away. It's music that bangs and then glides, cruising on the soft currents of Holly Dodson's Cyndi Lauper-like vocals. They coo and they shimmer with an indoor sunnyness, with the color of iridescent and strobe lights.

Dodson - who's joined in the group by her brother Nick and synth driverArtem Galperine - asks, "Is this heaven in your eyes?" on "Time Will Crawl," but the only thing that's crawling here are nerves and maybe fingertips across new skin. It's hot desire and still something about it feels as if it's not here yet. It's still just about to happen. It's racing toward these two people and we're not sure how they are going to turn out. If nothing else, they'll have all the desire they can handle.

CANADIAN BRED TALENT KEEPS THE GLITTER SPARKLING – BEATROUTE

Hot off the heels of their sophomore release, XII, Parallels’ leading lady Holly Dodson is sounding fresher and more excited than ever. Her sugarcoated Lauper-esque vocals sparkle and shine all over syncopated synth sounds and danceable drum beats. Based out of Toronto, Dodson is the daughter of Rich Dodson, frontman for Canadian rock mainstays The Stampeders (they had a hit in the ’70s, look it up!). A very musical family indeed. She has enlisted the help of her brother Nick Dodson on drums, who replaced ex-Crystal Castles member Cameron Findlay on the last record. The trio is now rounded out by Artem Galperine on keys and the result is refreshing and sexy electronic pop that is guaranteed to sweep you away on the dance floor. Just hear it for yourself with studio and rehearsal footage (filmed at Marigold Studios in Toronto) from their track “Time Will Crawl” below!

On the road for the second time this year, Parallels prepare to make a stop in Vancouver at Library Square on Thursday, August 2 as part of BeatRoute Magazine’s Higher Learning live music weekly. We caught up with Dodson somewhere in the middle of the prairies to find out what she’s been up to.

BeatRoute: You were originally playing with Cameron Findlay (ex-Crystal Castles) but recently took the reigns for the release of XII. Was it a difficult transition?

Holly Dodson: I wouldn’t say it was difficult…it seems like the kind of thing a lot of bands go through after the glitter fades from the first album. Cam and I hadn’t written anything new together for quite a while since our first album cane out so when he decided to go solo, it forced me to get in the studio with some new ideas I had been working on. I had never jumped into doing Parallels with the notion that we would only record one album, there is so much room to try new things and I love the potential that our genre has so the line-up change gave us an opportunity to do that and play with the foundations we built with the original sound.

BeatRoute: What can people expect from your live show now that you have undergone a lineup change? Is Nick Dodson your brother?

HD: Haha Yes! Nick is my brother/the best drummer I know so it was an easy decision. I’m very grateful to have two killer musicians joining me on stage, including Artem Galperine who joined on keyboards and background vocals… He might as well be related to us too. Three is the magic number at the moment; we’ve found a dynamic that works. I love playing dance music with live musicians especially, because it adds an energy you don’t get with pre-recorded live sets that the genre is notorious for.

BeatRoute: Where does Parallels sit in the Canadian music scene? Do you relate more to the live indie music scene scene or are you more comfortable at DJ/dance parties?

HD: Well we are both indie and love to make people dance so we can be chameleons in that sense! As long as people are dancing and having a party, we feel like we’ve done our job.

BeatRoute: Your dad, Rich Dodson, is a Canadian rock icon, being the primary member of The Stampeders. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from him?

HD: Yes and he’s still touring 40 years later! Musicians never retire, he’s living proof. He’s advised us to stay away from hard liquor, don’t believe hype and love what you do because when it works, it sure beats working. ;)

BeatRoute: Does your dad have a lot of cool rocker friends? Have you ever met The Guess Who?

HD: Haha. Yeah I guess he’s pretty cool by association! He did have a hit in the ’70s after all. But yes I’ve met Randy Bachman. Canada has produced some amazing talent!

BeatRoute: As an electronic pop artist, what are some things that you think are the most important to staying relevant in a constantly evolving genre?

HD: This is SO cheesy but I truly think that no matter what, staying true to yourself is the most important thing because that’s what drives creativity in the first place. There’s a lot you can do within a genre. Relevancy is in the ear of the listener…it’s overwhelming how much is going on in music but putting your own swing on a sound is the fun part.

BeatRoute: What kind of things get you really excited to be alive these days?

HD: Oh, there is so much. I’m so excited to be in the middle of our second tour this year, with hilarious band mates and a new album we are really excited about.

BeatRoute: What is your favourite part about the most recent incarnation of Parallels?

HD: I love everything about it!

Check out Parallels on Thursday August 2 in Vancouver at Library Square as part of Higher Learning.

By Glenn Alderson

Parallels >> Electrimotion in Phoenix [Rhythm Room] – www.zbored.com

Parallels >> returned to Phoenix for the 3rd time and another in the midst of a sweltering desert summer night that topped 118 degrees in the middle of a severe dust storm. Last night they made their debut at The Rhythm Room and showed off 2 new band members, some new hardware and added a full-length album of electric awesomeness to the arsenal. Okay so maybe some of the aforementioned was already introduced last summer at Bar Smith but I wasn’t there. The last time I saw Parallels was their previous atop the roof at Bar Smith when Visionaries had recently dropped and they played that entire album pretty much in its entirety. It was only Holly Dodson and the other original member at that point. Now her brother Nick has taken over on drums and a multi-talented synth master named Artem for added depth.
Nick is charismatic and an innovative kit specialist. During the sound check I got to hear samples of new tech plugged in on the kick drum which added a variety of killer futuristic back beats. Artem is the wild card drawn, rocking the shit out of the Korg MS2000 but jams keyboards, guitar, vocals, etc. Along with Holly’s vision and already demonstrated prowess, it was apparent when I spoke with them that they are really happy with this formula and don’t see any limits to what they can do creatively.
While they love being on the road and playing for a new crowd in every city it also seems like they’re anxious to get back to the studio and wrap up the EP that’s due to drop later this year. It will be another product of Holly’s continued musical maturity but enhanced with the current formula’s contributions so I’m just as anxious as they seemingly are.
Last night they only performed 3 songs from Visionaries but ’Dry Blood’, ‘Nightmares’ and the closer in ‘Ultralight’ are my favorite ones from that release so I’m cool with it. They blended these in with the illest shit from last year’s XII album including ‘Things Fall Apart’ and ‘Ritual Dancer’ which they opened with. I love this album and I would have been happy to hear it front to back but it ended up being a fairly short set due to time constraints? Or weather? I don’t know but what they performed was potent to the max and the entire bill that also featured Trails and Ways and Pastries With Teeth was definitely a treat.

Parallels Daytrotter Session – Daytrotter.com

Sometimes, the temptation of love feels like it's been set down on a treadmill and the pace has been racketed up way, way too hot. It's one of those situations though where you're bound and determined to keep up with the breakneck speed because you'll be damned if you're going to look like a fool in front of the one that you're chasing after, the one that you're trailing. You're huffing and puffing, legs burning, heart obviously pumping a million beats per minute and your plan is just to not lose your feet and get spit off, to skid your face against the moving track and fall awkwardly against the floor. You're going to do everything you can to stay upright and look like you expected it to be like this.

The Toronto band, Parallels, make electro-pop songs that sound as if they are on the treadmill with us, or they're the encouragement that we're hearing blare through the house system as we're pounding away. It's music that bangs and then glides, cruising on the soft currents of Holly Dodson's Cyndi Lauper-like vocals. They coo and they shimmer with an indoor sunnyness, with the color of iridescent and strobe lights.

Dodson - who's joined in the group by her brother Nick and synth driverArtem Galperine - asks, "Is this heaven in your eyes?" on "Time Will Crawl," but the only thing that's crawling here are nerves and maybe fingertips across new skin. It's hot desire and still something about it feels as if it's not here yet. It's still just about to happen. It's racing toward these two people and we're not sure how they are going to turn out. If nothing else, they'll have all the desire they can handle.

CMW: Moonlight Desires – Grey Owl Point

The highlight of the night, though, was certainly Parallels. Their synthpop heads towards perfection when they hit their stride, with Holly Dodson’s incredible voice standing out over the catchy synth and tight drumming (cow bell included!). Their dedication 80s decadence comes out fully in their cover of Gowan’s “Moonlight Desires”, epic synth line, soaring vocals and all. (I promised myself I would stop writing about my confusion as to why people don’t really dance at shows in Toronto – but, really, why don’t people dance?? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt since it was Tuesday, festival attendees, but you had better step it up as the week goes on.)

Here’s hoping that the rest of the week is filled with more synth-y perfection (I’m looking at you, Silent Shout showcase!) and new music discovery.

Parallels’ ‘XII’ – Electronic Rumors

Canadian ElectroPop act Parallels first came to our attention with their 2009 single Ultralight on THISISNOTANEXIT. The following year, Visionaries, the album Ultralight was taken from blew us away. Parallels combination of big Pop songwriting and a raw analog production sound, despite being very retro, sound incredibly fresh. Holly and Cam crafted an album that had the synthesizer authenticity of Minimal Synth, the catchy tunes of Pop and the live feel of Indie. It was both critically acclaimed and was one of out top records of 2010. It’s been a long couple of years while we waited for new material.

In those two years, Cam and Holly parted ways, Cam concentrating on his awesome Kontravoid project and Holly carrying on the name of Parallels. Now, a lot is being said about Cam’s departure and how it has affected the new material. The ‘internet’ seems concerned that, without Cam, Parallels are just a Pop act and the new album XII is somehow not as good as Visionaries. The ‘internet’ is wrong. XII lives up to our expectations in every way, from Love & Devotion, the album’s opener, onward you are treated to a catchy, intelligent, atmospheric ElectroPop album, with each song carrying a emotional resonance. There is definitely less melancholy on this record, then the previous, but that feels like a natural progression. Whereas Visionaries displayed a certain darkness (although not as much as some people would like to make out), XII replaces that with a nostalgic longing, a slightly bitter reminiscing, that actually makes a stronger emotional connection with the listener than Visionaries Goth-lite. Time Will Crawl is the album’s obvious standout, introducing Italo into Parallel’s repertoire and worming it’s way into your brain with a huge chorus which, along with a cover of Gowen’s Moonlight Desires and Ritual Dancer made up Parallel’s much loved recent EP. The rest of the album delivers on the EP’s promises, from Days Of Summer, a retrospective track with starlight synths and Funk bass to Fury On Earth’s reverb washed 80’s movie soundtrack drums and warping lead or the Industrial pounding of Dover, XII is a album that compels further listening. Yes, without Cam XII is a very different sounding album than Visionaries, but it is built from the same foundations. The only real difference here is production style, Holly sublime and relatable vocals work an an anchor, the thread running through Parallel’s work. Be in no doubt, this is Parallels, as good as ever, and XII is an excellent album and one with we would highly recommend.

Parallels – Highwire Daze

XII by Parallels (Marigold Records)
In the first half of the 1980's kids learned how to play the keyboards and synthesizers of the day, starting their own bands. Listening to such songs as Just Can’t Get Enough, Stand Back and Take My Breath Away, each song has their own charms but it was the early groups like Depeche Mode, Yaz, Bronski Beat, Cabaret Voltaire and Soft Cell amongst many others (not to forget the whole industrial sect) that gave kids the impression that the synthesizer was the instrument to conquer and one that made it clear: anyone can start a band with the minimum of musical education.
Singer Holly Dodson, along with brother and drummer Nick bring us XII, their follow-up to Visionaries, their impressive debut. Gone is co-conspirator and drummer Cameron Findlay of Crystal Castles, enter father Rich Dodson, producer, Marigold Records label owner and member of The Stampeders. A true family affair, Parallels still sounds of a piece with Visionaries: bouncy, shadowy, sensual synthesized pieces backing Holly’s uplifting, breathy voice.
After listening to XII for several weeks now, it becomes apparent the depths of each song. Based on the electronics used in the songs’ creation, it would be easy to dismiss the music of Parallels as vapid and plastic. But there is more to the arrangements, the play of Dodson’s vocal delivery and the darker, sometimes menacing synths that swirl around her seeming innocence. Time Will Crawl has a bouncy beat and open space that lets Holly’s voice shine. When she sings out “Is this Heaven in your eyes?” you’ll swoon over the emotions on display. The vaguely Asian melody and slide guitar synths in the second half add an exotic air to the song too. Canadians all, Parallels show their love for an 80's favorite as they cover Lawrence Gowan’s Midnight Desires, a more strident, less mystical version of the original, yet charming and fresh nonetheless. Fury on Earth trades cute for sexy and mysterious as shadowy keyboard patterns weave and echo in the background, Dodson purrs “Hold my hands to the light” and “we’re here alone now“. Electrimotion builds on handclaps, thick as London Fog synth fills, rubbery bass, Dodson’s voice soaring to sing crystal clear “to my friends there’ll be a celebration for I’m coming home“. Perhaps the most produced dense song on the album is the closing title track. The song starts out with bell-like keyboards, synths whisper around, another bouncy beat is laid down. Dodson’s breathy delivery barely cuts through the mix, a human component to the machine music.
XII is Holly Dodson’s chance to shine, an often bright, sometimes sexy, always exhilarating listening experience. Where other singers would overproduce the music and vocals to the point of machine-like perfection, Parallels have a refreshingly low-key approach.

Striking Parallels – NOW Magazine

Holly Dodson and Cam Findlay bonded over Bowie.
Music Feature

Jason Keller
PARALLELS
with FAN DEATH at Sneaky Dee’s (431 College), Friday (February 6), 10 pm. $10, advance tickets at Rotate This and Soundscapes.
As crazy as it sounds, you have to admire Cam Findlay for bailing on international success story Crystal Castles in the thick of their ascent.
Findlay toured the world with the divisive electro duo as their live drummer, but gave his notice last summer to pursue his own creative ideas with Parallels. So far, the gamble’s paid off.
“I didn’t stop for any bad reason,” says Findlay. “I just really wanted to fulfill this idea of Parallels that I had. In terms of creativity, [working with Crystal Castles] wasn’t very fulfilling, but it was a great experience.”
Though Parallels started with Findlay writing disco-flavoured, 80s-pop-moulded tracks in his basement, it didn’t take form until he hooked up with magnetic vocalist Holly Dodson. Any doubt about whether the local couple could work together was laid to rest with the help
of a blond Englishman.
“We saw Bowie together a couple of years ago. That’s when things started,” he says. “We discovered we had the same ideas about music and how we wanted things to sound. So when we started to work as a band, we didn’t need to figure it out – it just worked.”
So far they’ve released a digital EP, Ultralight (Independent), but a wax slab is slated for March. The title track and a haunting cut called Reservoir highlight Findlay and Dodson’s burgeoning chemistry. Their live debut last November was talked about for weeks, and Findlay
admits that drumming for CC probably had something to do with that.
“I like playing drums live. I think it brings a lot more. It’s something I excel at. But I’d rather have Holly be the frontperson. I don’t mind being in the background.”

Parallels – Exclaim Magazine

Because being the drummer for Crystal Castles likely requires some R&R, for the last couple years Toronto's Cameron Findlay has been doing his own thing on the side. Titled Parallels, Findlay is joined by chanteuse Holly Dodson (who has her own dreamy solo project worth checking out, if you like unicorn folklore and fantasy pop) for a partnership that falls somewhere between the static-drenched, bleepity electro of Crystal Castles and the breezy Italo goodness of Glass Candy. Okay, that's a pretty weak comparison but the spirits of Giorgio Moroder and Alexander Robotnick surely act like ghosts in this oscillating machine. Also featuring Darien of Italian horror-worshipping Tuxedo Mask on live synths, so far Parallels have released three EPs, all of which you can find on iTunes or Amazon's e-shop. "Ultralight" and "Magnetics" are the title tracks of their EPs that harness robotic personalities via a reliance on vocoders, vintage synthesizers and drum machines without any sense of irony or pretension, believe it or not.

If you're in Toronto, you can catch them performing with Erol Alkan's latest discovery, the much blogged about Fan Death, this Friday (February 6) at Sneaky Dee's (431 College Street at Bathurst).

Drawing Parallels – Boy With the Thorn in His Side (USA)

Well what do we have here? Looks like we’re going back to the future once again with a finger-lickin’ great new band out of the Great White North. Toronto, Canada, that is… They go by the name of Parallels and they just knocked my socks off! Theirs is a sound that is rooted in a time where synthesizers truly were the sound of the future. A cold and synthetic future where everyone would sway in their local disco dancing like malfunctioning cyborgs.

If I had to give my first impression, this duo sounds like the result of a union between John Foxx and Kylie Minogue. I dare you to resist the charms of Ultralight’s chorus above. A pop princess in the making struggling to extricate herself from the wicked web of arpeggios singing sweet nothings for our entertainment. Pure pop bliss rarely comes off so effortless as it does here.

This is yet another band to keep our eyes on this year. Their debut record Visionaries is out this fall.

PARALLELS – HARD CANDY music (USA)

I’m pretty damn excited for Canadian act Parallels. Their debut Visionaries is a slice of electro-pop with catchy hooks. The cool blue tinge of this photo completes the package and really illustrates the music well. Cool blue electro for you! Reminds me of a darker take on St. Etienne. The video for Ultralight is below. If you haven’t downloaded Find The Fire yet, you absolutely must do it here. Enjoy!

Drawing Parallels – Boy With the Thorn in His Side (USA)

Well what do we have here? Looks like we’re going back to the future once again with a finger-lickin’ great new band out of the Great White North. Toronto, Canada, that is… They go by the name of Parallels and they just knocked my socks off! Theirs is a sound that is rooted in a time where synthesizers truly were the sound of the future. A cold and synthetic future where everyone would sway in their local disco dancing like malfunctioning cyborgs.

If I had to give my first impression, this duo sounds like the result of a union between John Foxx and Kylie Minogue. I dare you to resist the charms of Ultralight’s chorus above. A pop princess in the making struggling to extricate herself from the wicked web of arpeggios singing sweet nothings for our entertainment. Pure pop bliss rarely comes off so effortless as it does here.

This is yet another band to keep our eyes on this year. Their debut record Visionaries is out this fall.

PARALLELS gleaming electro-pop visions – The Toronto Star


The Toronto trio Parallels — from left, drummer Cam Findlay, singer Holly Dodson and keyboardist Joey Kehoe — are at the Roosevelt
Room.

The diminished size of Toronto's electronic-music scene is often lamented by those nostalgic for the days when they could find 15,000 other
ravers to party with on a given record, yet the influence of those years now extends well beyond the confines of strictly "dance" genres.

Take electro-pop, for instance. Sure, the massive events are a thing of the past and some of our best DJs and producers have decamped to
other global ports of call. But the rave years' legacy has intersected with the city's indie-rock underground to produce a plethora of well-
regarded acts who prefer a little "pop" with their beats: Thunderheist, Woodhands, Crystal Castles, Lioness, Junior Boys, et al.

About to step into those ranks after a year or so of sorting out exactly who they want to be are Parallels, an arrestingly tuneful synth-and-
drums trio that helps launch the city's annual Canadian Music Week festivities Wednesday night with a gig at the Roosevelt Room alongside
DVAS, CFCF and Styrofoam Ones.

Parallels began as a mainly instrumental diversion for analogue-synthesizer enthusiast Cam Findlay a couple of years ago, but started
blossoming into a nascent band when his friend Holly Dodson lent her pixie-fied coo to a few tracks. Suddenly, Findlay realized, he had a
muse who could draw out his gift for hooks and humanize his chilly, Eno-esque, machine-made soundscapes with the vocals he'd never had
much interest in writing himself.

"That's what we've always sort of been going towards, writing melodic pop songs," says Findlay. "Not necessarily pop structured, but
creating things with a strong pop sensibility that still have that atmospheric sound we've always been into. ... It's more of what we don't have
in common that works well, I think. We both write in different ways and they work well together."

Parallels' arrival as the gleaming nightside-disco outfit that has just delivered the striking debut album Visionaries was delayed somewhat
by Findlay’s commitments to touring the world as the live drummer for Crystal Castles.

He finally left that band amicably a year and a half ago to pursue Parallels in earnest with Dodson – who, for her part, was just getting up
the guts to actually sing in front of people, encouraged by her supportive rock 'n' roll dad, Rich Dodson, co-founder of '70s CanCon staples
the Stampeders.

"He sat me down and said: `Just sing in front of me. I know you're writing songs secretly so just sing them to me,'" she recalls, grateful that her
father was impressed enough to offer to release Visionaries on his own label if the need arose. "I know he wouldn't have touched it with a
10-foot pole if he didn't like it."
- Ben Rayner

Better Living Through Circuitry – EYE Weekly

Trudging east on Dundas towards Jarvis in broad February daylight, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine the grey, wind-swept sidewalks and grimy fast-food restaurant windows as Erebus, the gloomy part of the underworld the dead pass through on their way to their final destination. If you stand on the corner long enough, a troll-like creature carrying five or six overstuffed supermarket bags will tell you whether you’re going to end up in Tartarus, otherwise known as hell. (Hint: you probably are.)

Opening a drab metal door leads to a brightly lit studio, where synth-pop hits mingle with the sounds of hairspray nozzles spritzing and a photographer gently giving directions to his three subjects, as Parallels pose on a bench in the centre of a clutch of reflectors and high-powered lights. Perched between drummer Cameron Findlay and Joey Kehoe — both of whom resemble models from some early-’80s Italian GQ clone, looking as though they’d rather be out polishing their IROC Z-28s — singer Holly Dodson’s pale features are smooth and glowing like a healing crystal in a New Age shop window. Her lips are frozen in a pout.

The location provides a scene worthy of a Tolkien storyline: in the east, a trio of native Torontonian neophytes starting out on a great adventure; to the west, the city’s gleaming towers rise up out of the skyline; and, between them, a fearsome, unpredictable landscape. It sounds like the setting for one of Led Zeppelin’s seven-minute goblin-rock odysseys, not a pop song that pulses with crackling, arpeggiated synths and the throb of a post-punk drummer working overtime. But this isn’t your average electronic act — in the VIP section of dance-rock’s velvet-roped club, Parallels refuse to check their visions at the door.

“I’d have a really hard time writing about, like, a breakup. Like Taylor Swift — I could never write any songs like hers,” Dodson says with a slight shrug. Sitting with Findlay and Kehoe in a pleasantly unremarkable diner, Dodson describes her lyrical mode as “escapism,” and while the über-slick after-hours come-ons of most electronic pop have been described as fantasy, compared to lyrics like Dodson’s (“many moons have passed, I’ve travelled idle love / emerging thoughts to the kingdom / I’ve never seen such eyes of blue / take me now from the garden / my body’s warm, my tears are true”) they seem about as imaginative as an instruction manual.

Dodson cites the literature of the Romantic era as an influence on her lyrics, which is a natural comparison; while a straightforward narrative doesn’t always reveal itself in songs like “Find The Fire,” the opening track of their just-released debut full-length, Visionaries, she insists “I don’t want to sound so abstract you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in English Lit to figure out that whatever the specifics, Dodson and Parallels are trying to get at least one thing across: passion. The songs on Visionaries started not as group efforts, but as Findlay’s demos, which he made on a little Korg MS-2000 analog modelling synthesizer. The former live drummer for Crystal Castles was interested in making something openly pop-oriented, and while on tour with CC, began collaborating with long-time friend Dodson, whose voice added a compelling presence to the arid electronics.

“When it was Cam’s solo project and it was all sequenced, with these vocodered vocals, that was more detached[-sounding],” Dodson says. Findlay explains that while they worked together on the technical aspects of the album — both are skilled producers — in terms of incorporating her singing into the arrangements, Dodson “knows where she can sing, and I know where the instruments should be. Obviously, they’re pop-oriented songs, and her vocals are sort of the focal point of a lot of them.”


Released in late 2008, the group’s Ultralight EP featured drum machines instead of the live drums they use both in their performances, and on Visionaries — which they recorded in North Toronto at Marigold Studios, owned by Holly’s dad, Rich Dodson (co-founder of Can-Rock icons The Stampeders).

Like Dodson’s vocals, Findlay’s drumming feels intensely emotional. “I would always lay down the drum track played by a drum machine and eventually plan on getting to it later with more drums,” he says. “I figured, I’ve been playing drums since I was a kid, so why would I release tracks with a drum machine? It doesn’t make sense.” Conversely, you can tell there’s a real human being behind tracks like “Dry Blood,” whose stoicism is transformed by Findlay’s stickwork into a hive of bees surging against an army of martial drum fills, or “Counterparts” where a Debbie Harry–channeling Dodson rides an urgent rhythm track cast from the Joy Division mould.

Not that the sum of the product has much to do with either comparison. Dodson professes admiration for Bat For Lashes and Lykke Li; Findlay notes his early fondness for late-’70s ambient m

PARALLELS gleaming electro-pop visions – The Toronto Star


The Toronto trio Parallels — from left, drummer Cam Findlay, singer Holly Dodson and keyboardist Joey Kehoe — are at the Roosevelt
Room.

The diminished size of Toronto's electronic-music scene is often lamented by those nostalgic for the days when they could find 15,000 other
ravers to party with on a given record, yet the influence of those years now extends well beyond the confines of strictly "dance" genres.

Take electro-pop, for instance. Sure, the massive events are a thing of the past and some of our best DJs and producers have decamped to
other global ports of call. But the rave years' legacy has intersected with the city's indie-rock underground to produce a plethora of well-
regarded acts who prefer a little "pop" with their beats: Thunderheist, Woodhands, Crystal Castles, Lioness, Junior Boys, et al.

About to step into those ranks after a year or so of sorting out exactly who they want to be are Parallels, an arrestingly tuneful synth-and-
drums trio that helps launch the city's annual Canadian Music Week festivities Wednesday night with a gig at the Roosevelt Room alongside
DVAS, CFCF and Styrofoam Ones.

Parallels began as a mainly instrumental diversion for analogue-synthesizer enthusiast Cam Findlay a couple of years ago, but started
blossoming into a nascent band when his friend Holly Dodson lent her pixie-fied coo to a few tracks. Suddenly, Findlay realized, he had a
muse who could draw out his gift for hooks and humanize his chilly, Eno-esque, machine-made soundscapes with the vocals he'd never had
much interest in writing himself.

"That's what we've always sort of been going towards, writing melodic pop songs," says Findlay. "Not necessarily pop structured, but
creating things with a strong pop sensibility that still have that atmospheric sound we've always been into. ... It's more of what we don't have
in common that works well, I think. We both write in different ways and they work well together."

Parallels' arrival as the gleaming nightside-disco outfit that has just delivered the striking debut album Visionaries was delayed somewhat
by Findlay’s commitments to touring the world as the live drummer for Crystal Castles.

He finally left that band amicably a year and a half ago to pursue Parallels in earnest with Dodson – who, for her part, was just getting up
the guts to actually sing in front of people, encouraged by her supportive rock 'n' roll dad, Rich Dodson, co-founder of '70s CanCon staples
the Stampeders.

"He sat me down and said: `Just sing in front of me. I know you're writing songs secretly so just sing them to me,'" she recalls, grateful that her
father was impressed enough to offer to release Visionaries on his own label if the need arose. "I know he wouldn't have touched it with a
10-foot pole if he didn't like it."
- Ben Rayner

Parallels at the Roosevelt Room- Live Review – Pink Mafia (Canada)

“Well, I guess I should have known that this was the former drummer for Crystal Castles! Because Parallels gave off a strong CC vibe as soon as they took to the stage. I was not familiar with their music prior to checking them out and decided to go in completely fresh. What did I decide? Well, I think I like them (dare I say it) – better than Crystal Castles. I think that lead vocalist Holly Dodson has more flare and charisma on stage. Plus, Parallels seemed to have more to it than the chiptune / electro sound. A little more depth and maturity in its sound. Dare I say, it felt wrong to be rocking out and partying this late on a Wednesday eve but damn, it felt good. Plus, I think that this performance from Parallels made me a fan.”

Parallels at the Roosevelt Room- Live Review – Pink Mafia (Canada)

“Well, I guess I should have known that this was the former drummer for Crystal Castles! Because Parallels gave off a strong CC vibe as soon as they took to the stage. I was not familiar with their music prior to checking them out and decided to go in completely fresh. What did I decide? Well, I think I like them (dare I say it) – better than Crystal Castles. I think that lead vocalist Holly Dodson has more flare and charisma on stage. Plus, Parallels seemed to have more to it than the chiptune / electro sound. A little more depth and maturity in its sound. Dare I say, it felt wrong to be rocking out and partying this late on a Wednesday eve but damn, it felt good. Plus, I think that this performance from Parallels made me a fan.”

The Hottest Names to Know in Canadian Music – FLARE Magazine (Canada)

Holly Dodson of Parallels
Months after 22-year old Holly Dodson met 23-year-old ex-Crystal Castles drummer Cameron Findlay at a David Bowie concert, the Toronto-based twosome found themselves recording their current EP, Ultralight. The disc's dreamy and decadent electro sound- a blend reminiscent of Donna Summer, New Order and every song ever featured in a John Hughes film has made an unparalleled mark on Canada's club culture. According to lead singer Dodson, the mehod to their magic stems from bringing her book smarts to the dance floor: "I'm inspired by 19th-century gothic literature. Lines from our song "Reservoir" can to me after reading poet "Percy Shelley"

The Hottest Names to Know in Canadian Music – FLARE Magazine (Canada)

Holly Dodson of Parallels
Months after 22-year old Holly Dodson met 23-year-old ex-Crystal Castles drummer Cameron Findlay at a David Bowie concert, the Toronto-based twosome found themselves recording their current EP, Ultralight. The disc's dreamy and decadent electro sound- a blend reminiscent of Donna Summer, New Order and every song ever featured in a John Hughes film has made an unparalleled mark on Canada's club culture. According to lead singer Dodson, the mehod to their magic stems from bringing her book smarts to the dance floor: "I'm inspired by 19th-century gothic literature. Lines from our song "Reservoir" can to me after reading poet "Percy Shelley"

New Talent: Parallels – FACT Magazine (UK)

I first got wind of Toronto-based outfit Parallels when they contributed two tracks, alongside the likes of HEALTH and Cheerleader Camp, to a mixed nuts CD-R comp sold on Crystal Castles' 2008 tour.
Parallels is Cameron Findlay, drummer with Crystal Castles, and bewitching (read: pretty) vocalist Holly Dodson. Theirs is a moody hi-NRG disco-pop sound with EBM overtones; fans of Anne Clark. Severed Heads and Visage will be all over this. There are a bunch of as-yet-unreleased tunes currently streaming on their myspace, including lightly vocodered speed-ballad 'Dry Blood' and a demo cut of anthem-in-waiting 'Reservoir'. The EP is called Ultralight and features the excellent 'Midnight Voices', all tough electro arpeggios, live drums and Chromatics-style keyboard twinkles, while A-side and title track 'Utralight' reminds me of Madonna (in a good way) backed up with wicked Moroder-style analogue synth action. If there's any justice in the world this lot will be bigger than the 'Castles before 2009 is out.

New Talent: Parallels – FACT Magazine (UK)

I first got wind of Toronto-based outfit Parallels when they contributed two tracks, alongside the likes of HEALTH and Cheerleader Camp, to a mixed nuts CD-R comp sold on Crystal Castles' 2008 tour.
Parallels is Cameron Findlay, drummer with Crystal Castles, and bewitching (read: pretty) vocalist Holly Dodson. Theirs is a moody hi-NRG disco-pop sound with EBM overtones; fans of Anne Clark. Severed Heads and Visage will be all over this. There are a bunch of as-yet-unreleased tunes currently streaming on their myspace, including lightly vocodered speed-ballad 'Dry Blood' and a demo cut of anthem-in-waiting 'Reservoir'. The EP is called Ultralight and features the excellent 'Midnight Voices', all tough electro arpeggios, live drums and Chromatics-style keyboard twinkles, while A-side and title track 'Utralight' reminds me of Madonna (in a good way) backed up with wicked Moroder-style analogue synth action. If there's any justice in the world this lot will be bigger than the 'Castles before 2009 is out.

Dreamy Disco in a Jugular Vein – Dummy Mag (UK)

The two members of Parallels met in 2004, brought together by a thin, white English Duke. Yet while David Bowie won’t stake a great claim to their driven yet dreamy take on disco, it was at his concert that they both realised they shared ideas about what they thought music should sound like.
“[Since meeting] we knew that our tastes in music were similar. And we’d always play our solo songs to each other first because it was easy to be critical, and made us respect the other’s opinion. We thought that our writing styles could compliment each other’s so we began writing together [late last year]”, says Cam.
Originally conceived as a solo project, it was only after quitting his day job as live drummer for Crystal Castles and joining up with songwriter/vocalist Holly Dodson that Parallels became a fully formed band. As Cam explains, “It was a nice change from working alone and offered a new kind of creative fulfillment. We both admire artists – no matter the genre – who seem to have strong artistic integrity and good hooks.”
Good on them for following this remit too, because artists of integrity and hooks are prevalent all over tracks like Midnight Voices and Ultralight, with references to Giorgio Moroder and Stevie Nicks , as well as more contemporary types like Sally Shapiro . There’s pulsing, driven bass, glimmering synths and even twittering bits that might have been taken right out of the Halloween soundtrack . Plus Holly’s vocals are an alluring echo of True Blue-era Madonna.
Yet aside from the imminent UK excursion (the pair are Toronto-based) there’ll be a limited 12’, while another EP will follow with plans afoot to “get in the studio again soon”. Maybe they’ll even find time for some Bowie influences on the next one.

Dreamy Disco in a Jugular Vein – Dummy Mag (UK)

The two members of Parallels met in 2004, brought together by a thin, white English Duke. Yet while David Bowie won’t stake a great claim to their driven yet dreamy take on disco, it was at his concert that they both realised they shared ideas about what they thought music should sound like.
“[Since meeting] we knew that our tastes in music were similar. And we’d always play our solo songs to each other first because it was easy to be critical, and made us respect the other’s opinion. We thought that our writing styles could compliment each other’s so we began writing together [late last year]”, says Cam.
Originally conceived as a solo project, it was only after quitting his day job as live drummer for Crystal Castles and joining up with songwriter/vocalist Holly Dodson that Parallels became a fully formed band. As Cam explains, “It was a nice change from working alone and offered a new kind of creative fulfillment. We both admire artists – no matter the genre – who seem to have strong artistic integrity and good hooks.”
Good on them for following this remit too, because artists of integrity and hooks are prevalent all over tracks like Midnight Voices and Ultralight, with references to Giorgio Moroder and Stevie Nicks , as well as more contemporary types like Sally Shapiro . There’s pulsing, driven bass, glimmering synths and even twittering bits that might have been taken right out of the Halloween soundtrack . Plus Holly’s vocals are an alluring echo of True Blue-era Madonna.
Yet aside from the imminent UK excursion (the pair are Toronto-based) there’ll be a limited 12’, while another EP will follow with plans afoot to “get in the studio again soon”. Maybe they’ll even find time for some Bowie influences on the next one.

Dazed quiz the Canadian band combining retro 80s-esque female vocals with dark synthy-ness – Dazed Digital (UK)

Parallels, whilst having a band-y sound have merged the boundaries of electronic music with songs having featured in mixes by France's shell-suit wearing Valerie Collective with their breed of high-pitched 80s vocals. Their computer beats and driving synths fit perfectly with their fluo-branded aesthetics and a dark aural atmosphere.

WHAT'S
... your description of your sound?
Euphoric 19th century gothic played on keyboards.

... so special about you then?
All: We can play instruments and sing at the same time

... your tip for 2009?
Holly: Find happiness in trivial things
Cam: More real drums, less 808.

.... your worst vice?
Holly: Staying up too late and missing out on mornings
Cam: Fits of rage

... your dream musical collaboration?
Holly: Joan Jett and Michael Jackson
Cam: Vangelis

... on your stereo?
Spies by Roni Griffith, "Slowdance" by Jeremy Jay, Fever Ray, Gino Soccio, Hounds of Hate.

...Best advice?
Holly: "Mo' money mo' problems"
Cam: "To catch the big fish, you've got to go deep"

... the one thing you'd kill for?
Cam: The future
Holly: To have a ghost-friend.

Dazed quiz the Canadian band combining retro 80s-esque female vocals with dark synthy-ness – Dazed Digital (UK)

Parallels, whilst having a band-y sound have merged the boundaries of electronic music with songs having featured in mixes by France's shell-suit wearing Valerie Collective with their breed of high-pitched 80s vocals. Their computer beats and driving synths fit perfectly with their fluo-branded aesthetics and a dark aural atmosphere.

WHAT'S
... your description of your sound?
Euphoric 19th century gothic played on keyboards.

... so special about you then?
All: We can play instruments and sing at the same time

... your tip for 2009?
Holly: Find happiness in trivial things
Cam: More real drums, less 808.

.... your worst vice?
Holly: Staying up too late and missing out on mornings
Cam: Fits of rage

... your dream musical collaboration?
Holly: Joan Jett and Michael Jackson
Cam: Vangelis

... on your stereo?
Spies by Roni Griffith, "Slowdance" by Jeremy Jay, Fever Ray, Gino Soccio, Hounds of Hate.

...Best advice?
Holly: "Mo' money mo' problems"
Cam: "To catch the big fish, you've got to go deep"

... the one thing you'd kill for?
Cam: The future
Holly: To have a ghost-friend.