Nightlife » Music

Parralox :: They’ve got the 80’s covered

by JC Alvarez
Wednesday Feb 20, 2013

Don't call the Australian pop-duo Parralox a "cover band." Just because they are basking in the success of their recent homages to Depeche Mode's classic hits "Enjoy the Silence" and "Heaven," this electro-pop symphonic team are revisiting the 80's and sonically bringing that decade of dance decadence forward into the new millennium.

Parralox is comprised of the singing/songwriting team of John von Ahlen and Amii Jackson. The band has only been together for a relatively short period of time but have already struck sharp comparisons to Erasure, New Order, and come very close to reprising the look and feel of the Human League. "Madonna's always in there, and maybe a little bit of Kylie," Amii admits of her own style, "it's no mystery. They're the obvious influences - those are the artists that I grew up listening to. Those are artists that inspired me, and I molded my voice around those artists."

Their single "Sharper Than A Knife" emulates the European pop melodies that made Kylie Minogue a locomotion on the US charts. It's a workably nostalgic nod to a radio-friendly sound that has all but been drowned out by the advent popularity of EDM (electronic dance music). "Ever since Amii came on board in 2009, I feel that now we're ready to take on America," John von Ahlen says about the teaming with Jackson. "It's all about timing."

Do What You Like

The chemistry between the two artists immediately sparked because they both share a passion for electronic and dance music.

"It was effortless really," von Ahlen reveals about the duo’s uniquely retro sound. "It just comes so naturally to the both of us. I suppose it’s due to the fact that we both like 80’s and 90’s music." The commercial popularity of dance has certainly proven golden for Parralox. "It’s a matter of taking all the influences that we love and putting our own modern stamp on it."

Jackson is also a fan of contemporary electronic artists such as Robyn and Goldfrapp, and certainly credits them with having an influence on Parrallox’s sonic influence. Both agree that although critics may have slammed EDM and dance (including the retro 80’s pop they are revitalizing) as having lacked any resonance in content, it’s impossible to mention that it has impacted their creative drive.

"At the heart of anything," von Ahlen says, "it’s all about the song -┬áthe vocals and the emotion. A good song has to be emotional." Where Madonna was often criticized for delivering chart-topping "fluff" like "Holiday," the Human League’s unforgettable hit "Human" has certainly stood the test of time. "It’s the emotion in that music that has made it so timeless," adds Jackson.

They’ve Got the Look

Image is also something the group is scarcely ignoring. Parralox’s already innovative videos have garnered the band an Internet following. The sharply handsome von Ahlen directed the searing divine Jackson in the kitschy cute video for their single "Sharper Than A Knife." "In the pop world, image is as important as the music," they both agree. "We couldn’t just show up with a paper bag on our heads."

Presenting themselves with cutting edge imagery and a revelatory throwback appeal, Parralox is poised for an EDM invasion stateside that is sure to endear them to an appreciative club culture that is ready to be reminded of an era that made music that was fun, frivolous, and still today relevant. "We pride ourselves on bringing that formula back."

Prepare yourself for the principal pairing of Parralox. They’re coming to a club near you! Parralox is preparing to release an EP of their current cover tracks, with a fresh offering of original hits to follow.

For an EXCLUSIVE free download of Parralox’s remix of the Depeche Mode classic "Heaven," follow the YouTube link below to redeem, become a fan and follow them on the group on their upcoming US invasion. For more on the band go to the webpage at

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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