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EVE by Parallel EVE
Parallel EVE
Bending Jellyfish - Single
Single Cover

Parallel EVE is an electronic duo I established with artist and friend Emma Zhang (Yaojiu19). We came from different academic backgrounds and met because of music. I am interested in the field of humanities while she is a science enthusiast, so the project naturally draws an intersection of both subjects. Inspired by the theatrical alienation effect proposed by German playwright Bertolt Brecht, we aim to use sound to provide a slice of life from a futuristic perspective with fusions of post-punk, alternative rock, and experimental electronics. 

Track#1 New Age Puppy

“New Age Puppy,” the opening track on the EP, demonstrates our band’s philosophy in creating sonic collages. Our creative process started with a steady, danceable bass groove. We added synth arpeggios, pads, and bells that serve melodies as if putting together each puzzle piece. Then we decided to build upon the motif with an unusual rhythmic section, including claps, hi-hats, cowbells, toms, and African Gankoqui. All instruments are midi-based and embody progressive electronic elements. Harmonically, we played with key modulations to break the audience’s expectations while keeping rhythmic momentum. 


Moreover, we sampled sounds from our voice memos and field recordings as instruments, including a documentary recording from the Museum of Natural History (1:20), explosion (0:26), machine sounds (1:48), etc. We used Quick Sampler in Logic Pro to generate an instrument to play out on a midi keyboard based on a recording of people screaming in Washington Park, New York City (1:41). In the intro, we also included a recitation of the ancient Chinese text called Classics from Mountains and Seas (0:09). As a demonstration of the alienation effect, we experimented with different Lofi filters and vinyl effects on our vocals. 


Track#2 Swaying Genes

“Swaying Genes” is an alternative and electronic piece we wrote. Haotian composed a short one-minute demo first. We then expanded the demo together and made innovative decisions in composition. For instance, we tried to break away from the traditional verse-chorus structure, create subtle leaps and changes in tempo, and play with slightly off-key dissonant harmonies. In terms of vocals, we included spoken words and singing to create dynamics. Like “New Age Puppy,” we added a sense of playfulness through vocal filters and effects. Combining cosmo-inspired pads and pulsating percussive layers, the experimental electronic piece creates a transition from the opening track and opens the door into a new narrative. Aligning with the musical arrangement, Yaojiu19 wrote lyrics from the perspective of a piece of spinach in the greenhouse, which strives to spread its seeds into the bigger universe. 


Track#3 Bending Jellyfish

“Bending Jellyfish” was originally a piano-based songwriting from Yaojiu19 in 2020. Different from the previous two danceable pieces, we decided to produce a brand new electronic version of the song that embodies the state of softness, dream, and fluidity like a jellyfish. Despite a standard verse-chorus structure, the song incorporates dreamy instrumentation and evocative vocal lines with the decoration of ambient electronics. Haotian first created the demo that includes drifting, impressionistic synth textures, soft pianos, and soft electronic beats. We reworked the vocal melodies to fit the new lyrical and musical arrangement. In terms of vocal mixing, we used a combination of long Hall Reverb and Quarter Ping Pong delay to create a spatial, dreamy feeling. It is worth noting that we mentioned the word “blue” in all of the six tracks as a hidden message of this EP. 

Track#4 Dancing Bagels

“Dancing Bagels” observes the world from the perspective of a bagel in an oven. The intro is reminiscent of the screams at the end of “New Age Puppy,” a sample loop created with Logic Quick Sampler. Haotian first came up with a light catchy beat while Yaojiu19 wrote the corresponding lyrics and melodic lines, then we elaborated on the rest of the track together. We interweaved theatrical elements into the production of this song through spoken words and sound design. To create the setting in the oven, we included sounds from kitchen appliances, beeps, and ringing bells. We invited a friend to act as a café waiter and record a monologue, which we placed at the end to deliver another alienation effect. One can also identify a series of playful, dramatic dialogues recorded by both of us in the second verse, which spices up the song’s narrative and refreshes listeners’ ears. 


Track#5 Encephalic Disco

“Encephalic Disco” was an instrumental piece Haotian created in 2020 while the lyrics were adapted from Yaojiu19’s poem “Blue Ocean.” Blending post-punk, psychedelic rock, and electronics, the composition narrates the story of a person who experiences hallucinations caused by eating poisonous mushrooms. The dazzling arpeggiated synths, groovy basslines, and industrial beats propel the listeners to dance and move their bodies. While we collaged the text and music together, we continued to explore the possibility of incorporating theatrical monologues, dialogues, and cartoon-inspired voices into music. In terms of sound design, we added mechanic sounds like hanging up on the telephone and beeps to amplify the climax, which paves the way for the last track on the EP.


Track#6 Cyber Ballet

“Cyber Ballet” was another instrumental piece created by Haotian. With shimmering synthscapes, high-end pianos, and laid-back electronic drum kits, the composition evokes a feeling of travel and flashback in-between spaces. Inspired by this sci-fi, evocative arrangement, we both wanted to write a song about the mystery of parallel universes. Yaojiu19 wrote the lyrics based on my composition—a Chinese poem about the exchange of souls in two parallel universes—while working out the main vocal melodies. To create a feeling of “being trapped in space,” we experimented with several vocal effect plugins, including echo, autofilter, and plate reverb. We also dubbed vocal harmonies to create additional layers and narratives that echo the theme of parallel worlds.

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