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Pinhdar’s breathtaking Parallel

Last updated on March 23, 2021

Cecilia Miradoli and Max Tarenzi, Italian trip-hop artists known as PINHDAR, offer up the breathtaking Parallel, which is like nothing in modern psychedelic rock today.

Opener “Anacreonte” feels like dropping musical acid in preparation for an eight-song sonic joyride. Primal and powerful with its siren-like song, tribal drums contrast against synthesizers. These contradictions all perfectly entwine with Miradoli’s sexualized vocals. Working with legendary Scottish producer Howie B (U2, Bjork, Tricky, Massive Attack), it’s clear the Eurythmics’ sonic palette influenced this record’s production in all its stunning glory. The duo blends stylistic choices into sophistication rarely heard in decades since the ‘80s.

“Parallel” seems steeped in an intoxicating vibe, like a snake charmer’s song transfixing the viper so as not to strike. Each sound layer shows brilliant production. This first single reflects  the album’s weird, isolated recording process during the pandemic lockdown. The hypnotic “Parallel” contrasts with the fragile “Glass Soul,” as humanity’s disconnection perfectly meshes with the track’s discordance. It could be a difficult track for some to listen to, but it is my personal favorite.

Halfway through the eight songs, the techno rapture of “Corri” slides in. Somewhat out of place, this fairly traditional rock tune still shines thanks to its instrumentation. Harpsichord sings as subtle notes ring out, a cathedral-like ambiance creating an otherworldly distraction. Like gazing out at far-off destinations, seemingly simple lyrics are an escape from our own locked doors. “Too Late (a big wave)” broadcasts the love Miradoli and Tarenzi have for some of history’s rock and roll legends. The 1960s tempo and cadence ooze from each note.

I confess: Italian progressive metal works for me with its stark assessment of humanity. “Atoms and Dust” sings of humanity’s demise, harmonic spirals with lyrics that could land the tune firmly on any prog-metal soundtrack. This track is brilliance unleashed in its dark haunting beauty. In contrast, “Hidden Wonders” whiplashes back into space, showcasing talents like Annie Lennox’s own. The tune’s fantastic, surreal, dream sequence feel comes to life effectively. Closer “The Hour of Now” is a largely instrumental, primal journey that recalls Plastic Ono Band.

If, like me, you miss adventurous bands like Depeche Mode, PINHDAR will make your year. Hold on, close your eyes, and start PINDAR’s Parallel.  Just don’t forget to breathe. Catch the band on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter. –Lisa Whealy