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ODESZA’s style shines on ‘A Moment Apart’

| Monday, September 25, 2017

odeszaWEBJOSEPH HAN | The Observer

“Do you know that story of the Russian cosmonaut?” beckons a mysterious female voice on the intro song for ODESZA’s new album “A Moment Apart.” The voice belongs to actress Brit Marling and is taken from her performance in the 2011 film “Another Earth.” On the track, Marling’s character continues to tell the story of the cosmonaut — who when trapped in a space station with an incessant ticking noise decides that in order to save his sanity he must fall in love with the sound.

While the sample may seem obscure, it serves as the perfect introduction to the electronic duo’s  latest album, which was released earlier this month.

The heavy panting of an unknown person transitions seamlessly from the “Intro” song to the album’s title track. The second song carries an upbeat tempo that immediately puts the listener into the world of ODESZA’s genre and sets the stage for the rest of the album.

On “Boy,” a clear standout on the album, the lack of vocals does not detract from the song’s excellence. The track holds an airy and chill mood until a magnificent beat drop sends it into a bright and energetic space. “Thin Floors And Tall Ceilings” maintains a relaxed and pensive vibe throughout, lending the album a bit of diversity.

A number of talented vocalists are brought on by Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, the duo behind ODESZA. Leon Bridges brings the soulful sound of his latest album “Coming Home” to the song “Across The Room.” On the track, ODESZA manages to blend their signature indie-electronic style with Bridges’ ’60s inspired southern soul.

“Just A Memory” utilizes Regina Spektor’s beautiful voice to create a break-up inspired love song that holds deep emotion. Other notable artists that appear on “A Moment Apart” include Naomi Wild, Kelsey Bulkin and Sasha Sloan.

One song that especially stands out on the album is “Everything At Your Feet.” The song’s melodic verses are handled by the Spanish-speaking indie-pop band The Chamanas. Despite it being the only track sung exclusively in Spanish, the song fits perfectly with the vibe of the other tracks on the album.

A later song on the album features some Spanish in it’s title “La Ciudad,” which translates to “The City.” Despite its lack of vocals, “La Ciudad” maintains a quick pace, creating a happy feel. ODESZA’s unique genre proves that it can mesh well with both English and Spanish vocals.

Knight and Mills’ newest album does not stray far from the celebrated sound that the duo created on their first two albums “In Return” (2014) and “Summer’s Gone” (2012). Many of the songs spark a feeling of youthfulness and elation. These songs could easily be the soundtrack to a YouTube montage of videos from travels around the world. Yet other songs on the album convey a slower and more thoughtful feeling, perfect for relaxation and focus. ODESZA’s style of electronic music can not be pinned down to a single category because it is so unique. The group’s music has elements from indietronica, chillwave, electropop and more.

“A Moment Apart” has been well received and the success is well deserved. The album quickly gained the top spot on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums list, unseating Calvin Harris’ latest album, and appeared at third on the Billboard Top 100 Albums list.

The album is exceptional in the way that it inspires a wide variety of emotions from joy and ecstasy to peace and bliss. Almost any listener will be able to find a song on “A Moment Apart” that they enjoy while avid fans of ODESZA and their genre will enjoy the entire album.

Artist: ODESZA

Album: “A Moment Apart”

Label: Counter Records

Favorite Track: “Boy”

If you like: Porter Robinson, Flume, Jai Wolf

Shamrocks: 4 out of 5

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