The Pacific Northwest region of the United States has been known for its music scene for quite some time now. There are always new experimental and influential sounds coming out of the area. In 2012 Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches) and Harrison Mills (aka Catacombkid) were finishing up their studies at Western Washington University. Luckily for them (and for us) the two were introduced to each other through a mutual friend and they started to share their music. Not long after they met, Mills and Knight began to collaborate and create music together. Suddenly, ODESZA was born.
Summer’s Gone, the duo’s first LP, was released (fittingly) on September 5th 2012 and was given to the world for free. The album in its entirety could be downloaded for free via SoundCloud (you can still stream and download it here), and what a smart move that was. Word spread quickly about these new soothing and melodic sounds that stray away from the often harsh noises associated with mainstream EDM, and ODESZA started to gain attention. The duo was putting together pieces and samples of other songs and melodies to create a wonderful new sound.
With the Internet buzzing about this new sound, ODESZA went on to release the EP My Friends Never Die a year later. If the duo wasn’t on the scene yet, they were now. That fall, they would accompany Pretty Lights on tour as his supporting act. Pretty Lights has always pushed the boundary with his productions and was the perfect role model for ODESZA to learn from. On this tour ODESZA really mastered their live performance, playing and sampling music live to create a unique concert experience. They were ready to explode onto the scene.
Another year later (September must be their favorite month), big things came from ODESZA. Just last week, they released their second album In Return, and it is amazing! Sticking with the melodic vibes they always bring, they turned it up a notch with the addition of vocals on about half the tracks. They didn’t necessarily have to evolve this way; what they already had was great. But the path they have taken has turned them into an influential group, affecting the music scene across the entire country, not just in the Northwest corner.
This relatively new sound that ODESZA has given us is going to stick around for a long time. It gives electronic music a depth that had been missing for too long. The duo grew up in the Seattle area, living in the moody days of autumn and winter along with the hot, vibrant days of summer and spring. That’s what this music reminds me of, and where ODESZA drew from to create it. At times their electro-pop melodies can seem like the better sibling of dubstep with vibes found in tracks like “Say My Name”. During other tracks they include a trip-hop vibe originating from an ambient, chill out, and downtempo genre. Similar to that Seattle weather, it keeps you guessing and can change at any moment.
Stream In Return and My Friends Never die here! Also head to our SoundCloud page for more of our ODESZA favorites