Canada seems to do a nice line in synthpop these days, with well known and respected acts like Austra and Grimes flying the flag. Toronto’s Parallels should easily be joining that list on the strenth of Metropolis, their latest album.
We included the track of the same name in our Weekly Roundup not so long ago, and at the time I waxed lyrical about how Holly Dodson’s vocals put me in mind of Kate Bush in the best possible way. The album affirms that comparison for us, not just in her sound but also in the fact that musically she offers a strong artistic vision. There’s hints of Madonna in the vocals as well, but Dodson’s voice is very much her own and really makes this album wonderful.
Musically, Parellels create a solid and infectious sound, never straying too far from a clean, polished synthpop formula that echoes sophisticated newer acts like CHVRCHES and Avec Sans but with a healthy dose of retro pop sensibility that would have Madonna and Cyndi Lauper looking on enviously.
It’s hard to single out one track and say ‘You must listen to this!’ because the whole album deserves to be heard. I have to say that the ballad Isadora is one of my favourites and the energetic youth anthem The Kids Will Save Detroit ranks highly too.
It wouldn’t be amiss to say that Metropolis is a soundtrack in search of a movie. That movie would be some strange hybrid of Top Gun and The Breakfast Club, because the songs very much paint pictures and tell stories that wouldn’t be out of place on the silver screen.
The physical copies of the album are lovingly rendered in scandalous red and it’s beautiful to look at. On Metropolis it’s safe to say that with their third album, Parallels have created something truly beautiful both musically and visually. Metropolis is available to buy via the band’s website and major digital platforms, and to stream via Spotify.