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Swirling together hip-hop beats with ambient, bass music, and just enough pop songwriting to give their atmospheric soundscapes an unmistakable edge, ODESZA have one of the loftiest sounds in electronic music. Yet the duo’s origins are surprisingly humble: Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight formed the project as seniors at Western Washington University and released their debut album, 2012’s Summer’s Gone, the same year. Two years later, with In Return, they began fleshing out their samples with proper vocal features, and the results, particularly on “Say My Name” and “Sun Models,” were like making the leap from a favorite sweatshirt to a bespoke suit—but without losing any of the coziness or familiarity. ODESZA’s live shows are renowned for their sensory rush, combining eye-popping visuals and custom lighting—their creative director, Luke Tanaka, is often described as the group’s third member—with percussion pads, a rotating cast of guest musicians, and even a full drum line. Those steadily expanding ambitions also fuel their 2017 album, A Moment Apart: The array of guest singers is wider; the styles range from the downbeat soul of “Across the Room” to the dream-pop rush of “Higher Ground” to the celebratory choral spirit of “Corners of the Earth.”

Bellingham, WA, United States
June 11, 2012
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