So take a chance, take a chance, oh yeah
ODESZA is an electronic music duo comprised of producers Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight. Originally starting off with their own solo aliases (CatacombKid and BeachesBeaches, respectively), the pair started collaborating on music in 2012, during their senior year in college at Western Washington University in Bellevue, WA, and became well-regarded crafters of indietronica and electropop over the course of the next decade.
With a name inspired by a sunken ship once owned by Mills uncle, their first release, the album Summers Gone, was self-released by the duo in September 2012 not long after the bands initial formation. Early success online as part of the then-burgeoning chillwave scene led to Mills and Knights commercial breakthrough with In Return in 2014, with singles like Sun Models, Say My Name and All We Need propelling them to the upper echelons of electronic acts.
Mills and Knight launched their own record label, Foreign Family Collective, in 2015. The same year saw ODESZA launch an elaborate live show building on the duos work on In Return, with a full marching band accompanying them on stage at festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo. The band kept the momentum going with a new album, A Moment Apart, in 2017. Singles like Line of Sight and Late Night continued the last albums sonic trajectory, but the duo would also dabble in new sounds on the record, collaborating with artists outside of electronica like Leon Bridges and Regina Spektor and integrating the live band elements in some of the tracks included on the albums deluxe edition.
After touring for nearly two years in support for A Moment Apart, Knight and Mills announced in 2020 that they would be forming supergroup BRONSON with fellow producer and friend Golden Features. BRONSONs self-titled record released in August of that year, with a much darker, house and bass-influenced sound than the bands usual fare.
- Summer's Gone (2012)
- My Friends Never Die (EP, 2013)
- In Return (2014)
- A Moment Apart (2017)
- BRONSON (2020; with Golden Features, as BRONSON)
It's only water, it's only fire, it's only tropes
- A Boy and His X: The music video for "Line of Sight" is part of the proud tradition of the "boy and his robot buddy" pantheon, complete with the robot heroically sacrificing their own life to save their friend.
- Album Closure: With lyrics about embracing love, a cinematic sense of scale and closing out with a sound taken from the opening track, "Corners of the Earth" is one for A Moment Apart.
- Album Intro Track:
- Summer's Gone opens with a sample from a 1957 BBC program titled "Public Dreams and Private Nightmares," a 'radiophonic poem' that exemplifies some of the broadcaster's early experimentations with electronic sound production and synthesis.
- A Moment Apart starts with an abridged audio clip of the cosmonaut scene from Another Earth.
- Alternative Dance
- Ambient: The duo's work has shades of this, but could probably be better described as indietronica or chillwave when taken as a whole. Some of their more understated tracks, like "Kusanagi," can be considered straight examples.
- Bookends: The last track on A Moment Apart's original release, "Corners of the Earth", fades out to just the tapping from the same Another Earth scene that opened the album.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: The title track on A Moment Apart, which landed a spot as the opening tune for Forza Horizon 4 with its moments of bombast and calm in equal measure.
- Idiosyncratic Cover Art: Summer's Gone, In Return and A Moment Apart share a unified aesthetic: distant photos of people against dramatic, gradient-heavy backgrounds, with the band's name and the title of the album rendered in a geometric sans-serif typeface. Of the three, only Summer's Gone lacks the icosahedron logo.
- The Invisible Band: Nowhere to be found in most of their music videos.
- Longest Song Goes Last: All three of their albums plus BRONSON play this straight.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- "It's Only." The music itself? Serene, chill beats with ambient house vibes and a percussive sequence at its peak. The lyrics? For starters:
- Lyric Swap: The last line of the chorus on "It's Only" starts off as "you're only crying, you're only dying, you're only late" (itself something of a Last-Second Word Swap) before switching out for "you're only crying, you're only dying, you're only dead" by the end.
- New Sound Album: BRONSON doesn't completely abandon the duo's hallmark ethereal sounds, but it does mark a turn into deep house and electro vibes that were more clearly established with collaborator Golden Features' prior work. Songs like "LOYAL" and their VIP remix of "It's Only" foreshadowed this shift, as did their live shows during the A Moment Apart era.
- Orange/Blue Contrast: Both versions of A Moment Apart's cover art: bright glowing orange line across a darkened blue landscape. Some of the accompanying singles, like "Line of Sight," "Late Night" and "Across the Room," also follow the trend.
- On a Soundstage All Along: The video for "Say My Name" pulls this trick, but at its midpoint rather than at the end. We're introduced to a couple that shares a loving kiss and listens to the song while jumping into a pool together, but as the second verse starts, the whole thing is revealed as a music video shoot, with the girl having genuine feelings for her co-star that aren't reciprocated.
- Remix Album: They've put out a few for the bulk of their discography. "All We Need" takes the cake with fifteen separate remixes on its own album (and a radio edit), outnumbering its parent album by three tracks and thirty minutes.
- Title Track: "A Moment Apart" and "My Friends Never Die."
You're only crying, you're only dying, you're only dead