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Dissonance on the Dancefloor: Sterling Grove’s Parallel Lines

SEEN has been seriously enjoying a lot of electronica lately, none more so than the excellent Parallel Lines by Sterling Grove who are two DJ/Producers from Montreal and co-founders of House of Youth Records. From the spine-tingling atmospherics of ‘Beneath’ to the beautiful Philip Glass-style repetitions of ‘Bridge’ there is not a track on this album that doesn’t bear listening to again and again. The sound work put SEEN in mind of the soundtrack of The Mothman Prophecies – the film soundtrack being an artform all of its own in SEEN’s opinion. Parallel Lines is not by any means a ‘warm bath’. Once you get sucked in – hypnotised even – there’s dissonance and disturbance beneath the beguiling surface. ‘Wither’ featuring vocalist Adelaide has real urgency and power.

SEEN had the great good fortune to catch up with Sterling Grove recently and quiz them…

SEEN: Congratulations on the album Parallel Lines! SEEN loves electronica and thought the sound work was superb. How long did the album take to create?

STERLING GROVE: Thanks, the album took about 2 years to put together. Some songs were made before we even knew we were going to make the album, and then slowly as we created more songs the direction and sonic sound palette started to take shape, and we were making songs to fit into the bigger picture.

S: I was struck by the atmosphere engendered by the video for Parallel Lines – have you been snapped up for a soundtrack yet?

SG: Not yet haha, but that would be loads of fun! Hopefully one day, if not we will just have to write and direct our own movie to make it happen.

S: I felt that many influences were at work in the music. Who did you listen to growing up? Were your families musical?

Stephen: I grew up listening to commercial pop and rap music. My parents would often play U2 and the Bee Gees at home. But my whole life I was into music and arts. I used to play the piano as a kid and that really stuck with me. The album for me was really inspired by my most recent discoveries like, Jamie XX – Maribou State -Bonobo etc.

Marc: Growing up until now I’ve always listened to all genres of music. I used to be really into Hip-Hop, as a teenager, but also really got into Psychedelic rock music like Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Dance music came later on when I started partying and getting into the nightlife scene.

My family doesn’t really have a musical background; however they were always very supportive of my passion, for which I am very grateful.

S: What’s next for you? Live performance? (Please come to London) More collaborations? Is there anyone you have your eye on for vocals in the future?

SG: We would love to come play a live show or DJ set in London! We are currently working on a more live set that would be a crossover between DJing and playing live.

So many amazing vocalists are on our radar at the moment. For us, vocals are at the core of the music we make. We would love to work with Sevdaliza, Ionnalee, the signer from WHOMADEWHO to name a few…

S: You’re in London, you’ve got a couple of hours to spare… Where do you go?

SG: Last time we were in London, we loved hanging around Shoreditch, so probably back to that neighbourhood if we only had a few hours.

Sterling Grove’s Facebook page is here.