Downtown New Yorkers are in awe of a not-so-new rocker from down under.
“Goodbye Berlin," the latest single from John von Ahlen and his Australian-based electronic pop band, Parralox, is making waves with the college kids around Washington Square who believe they have discovered a band that, in actuality, has been around for fifteen years.
“Fans seem to be enjoying our new sound,” von Ahlen reflects. “It’s been a while since we released original material, and it’s been really so awesome to finally get new songs out there. It never ceases to amaze me when we get feedback on social media about the songs and videos, and it’s really rewarding when people say they are inspired by the songs. It’s the ultimate compliment.”
“Goodbye Berlin” is the second single release from Parralox’s Genesis album. “Genesis is more mature than anything we’ve ever produced, especially in terms of its songwriting,” von Ahlen contends.
The latest song is a synth pop - retro wave track about running away from a lover. It’s darker and more introspective than the band’s summer release, “Tears of Faith
”, but like its predecessor, is based on real life.
“I wrote the 'Goodbye Berlin' after a tense visit with a friend in Berlin,” von Ahlen explains. “It got to the point where I literally had to get the hell out of Berlin as quickly as a I could. I mean, I just didn’t want to be there with him any longer.”
Some of the lyrics are taken directly from text messages von Ahlen sent to friends at the time, including the song’s opening line: I spent three days walking in the rain. “I escaped to London a few days later where I wrote the song in a day, taking elements of what happened and turning it into a bitter-sweet love song,” the singer-songwriter says.
After London, von Ahlen found himself in Manchester for a gig. It was there that he met up with Johanna Gervin to record the song.
“I was pregnant at the time and boy oh boy, I didn't realize how out of breath I would get carrying my daughter,” Gervin laughs. “It did, however, give John the vocal quality he was after.
The music video was filmed late at night in Manchester, UK and depicts von Ahlen and Gervin, dressed in black, walking alone in the city center. John von Ahlen chose locations that looked moody and bleak, in order to fit the sentiment of the song. “I’ve been directing music videos for over two decades, and it can be jarring when you have to step into the role of director with people you are close with, as I am with Johanna,” von Ahlen reflects. “Luckily, Johanna’s a real trooper, a professional who takes direction and never complains, even when it’s two in the morning and freezing cold, like how it was on the shoot for Goodbye Berlin!”
von Ahlen is excited that young fans are discovering the band. “When we first started, we borrowed a lot from the 80s. We still do today, but to a much lesser extent. We’re finding more of our own style and exhibiting our own unique perspective.”