Had enough ODESZA yet? Didn’t think so! For those of you who can’t get enough of the recently blown-up duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, here’s some tasty auditory desert for you. After the smashingly successful release of In Return, ODESZA took the natural next step in the evolutionary process of electronic music and released an EP of remixes for arguably the most popular song on the album, “Say My Name (ft. Zyra).” Each remixer on the EP has put their own unique spin on the track while still preserving the essence and beauty of the original. Hermitude starts things off with a mildly trappy and vaguely tropical remix of the track. That is followed by the Big Wild remix which brings a spacey, futuristic funk vibe into the mix. Ganz is next with a bigger, more electrified take on the song. Similar to Big Wild, Ambassadeurs also injects the song with a dose of lush, sultry vibes. If you’re a deep house fan, Hayden James’s remix will get your body moving in all the right ways. And to cap things off, Emancipator highlights the deeper ambient side of ODESZA’s music by putting his signature ethereal spin on the song. But enough from me—have a listen and let the music speak for itself. Grab the free download and enjoy!!
Like thieves in the night, Seattle-based duo Odesza has swiftly and silently snuck their way onto everyone’s radar over the past year or so. Although Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight have only been making beautiful music together since the 2012 release of their brilliant debut album Summer’s Gone, they are most certainly deserving of the hype that has surrounded their name recently. With props coming in from electronic bigwigs like Pretty Lights and the adoration of a steadily growing fan base, I think it’s safe to say that we can expect BIG things from Odesza in the years to come.
After two years in production, the world’s eardrums can now rejoice as their second album In Return is finally available for purchase. And if you were wise enough to pre-order your copy and received your download a week early, you already know that In Return is nothing short of a masterpiece. Combining the group’s signature upbeat drumming, light and dreamy synths, and perfect smatterings of bass overlaid by the hauntingly beautiful vocals from a number of collaborators, the album is equal parts uplifting and inspiring. Initially, I thought to do a track-by-track review of the album, but decided against it as the music really does speak for itself. For my money, though, it doesn’t get much better than “It’s Only” featuring the blissful and moving vocals of Zyra. Do yourself (and your spirit) a favor by ordering your copy of In Return right now; I promise you won’t regret it. Be sure to show your support as well by catching the guys on tour this fall (you won’t be disappointed) and by checking out the rest of their music including Summer’s Gone and My Friends Never Die EP, both of which are available for free download.
Now kick back , relax, and enjoy the refreshingly creative sounds of Odesza. Spread the word, and spread the love! Enjoy!
Erupting out of Seattle, WA, ODESZA, the brainchild of Harrison Mills (Catacombkid) and Clayton Knight (BeachesBeaches), has rapidly captured the attention of the masses with a progressive and unrivaled sample-based electronic music style. In a little over a year, ODEZSA has rapidly secured its position in the stream and limelight of electronic music with their hypnotizing catalog of energetic productions that penetrate the airwaves with melodically rich and emotionally-laden electronic vibrations. As they prepare to wrap up their incredibly successful year with a performance at Decadence in Colorado for New Year’s Eve, we had the chance to sit down with Harrision and Clay to chat about upcoming tours, live performance, and grammy nomination picks.
HT: I hate to use the phrase but there is an agreed upon claim that ODESZA is “blowing up”. What does that description mean to you guys and how have you both internalized all the recent successes that ODESZA has experienced?
Clay: It’s still kind of surreal right now. I see the numbers and stuff and the numbers keep growing, which is always nice to see, but it hasn’t really like manifested physically I guess. We’ll go play shows and the crowds are getting bigger and it’s awesome and stuff but it’s still all pretty surreal right now.
Harrison: Yeah I don’t know if it’s really hit us. Every time we get an opportunity we don’t want to blow it so we’re just kind of keeping our head down and trying to work as hard as we can. But yeah, we’ve definitely seen that there’s more support, especially locally. We’ve been really lucky.
HT: The official Facebook popped up a little over a year ago. What was the final push that got you two to make ODESZA official and at that point in time, what was ODESZA about? Has anything changed since?
Harrison: I went to school for graphic design so there’s a major focus on branding, so it was just kind of out of fun that we were kind of building a Facebook and a Twitter and like pictures, logos, and stuff like that. We weren’t really trying to make it a business or anything, or thinking that we were going to, you know, start doing this as real jobs. But we just figured, as we were both graduating when we started doing this, that this is the best time to just try to have fun, when we don’t’ have a lot of responsibilities, to do something like this.
HT: It has been out for a few months now, but are you guys still getting a bunch of feedback on ‘My Friends Never Die’? What has the feedback been like?
Clay: Yeah, it’s been a little bit but the feedback’s kind of slowed down. All the response we’ve got has been pretty positive. It’s definitely a difference sound, and we were kind of worried when we put it out that it may be a little too different, but it ended up working out well. People have received it pretty well so I’m pretty happy with it.
HT: It is significantly shorter than your debut compilation ‘Summer’s Gone’. Is there a reason for that, maybe after its success did you guys want to spread your releases a little more?
Harrison: It wasn’t so much that. Those were just songs that we had made, to kind of perform live, or that we were making on the road that we didn’t really plan to release. As people were asking more and more to hear the songs, or to get them on line, we just decided that it kind of made a nice little release when we put them all together.
HT: Do you have any requests from listeners to try new styles, or is it more along the lines of “keep doing what you’re doing”?
Harrison: I think both me and Clay are into so many different styles of music. I think our next release will definitely show that too, but we’re into so much different stuff and I think people that most people who started out sampling are, and so just taking different sounds that may not fit in one area and blending them into another genre is really fun. We try to do a lot of different stuff and because we’re into so many wildly different things we try to blend them all together. Hopefully our next release will show that we’re into a lot more different kinds genres.
HT: On that not can we expect a new EP or full length album in 2014?
Harrison: Yes. Are we allowed to say yes?
Clay: I don’t know, I’m saying yes though.
HT: I can only imagine that stuff is always in the works
Clay: Yeah, we’ve been working on, like, remixes here and there, but the main focus right now is just trying to get a new full-length (album) together.
HT: Where did the idea come about to have a remix album for ‘My Friends Never Die’? Are there any remixes that you guys throw into your live sets?
Harrison: We haven’t thrown any remixes in but we do plan to eventually. We were on the road, or we were about to go on the road right when we got all of the remixes so we didn’t have it all planned out and practiced or anything. The idea came about just from knowing a lot of different people who we are fans of and it’s always fun to see their twist on what you’ve made.
HT: How was touring with Michal Menert earlier in the year? Would it be a little too hopeful to expect a Menert and ODESZA collab?
Clay: For now nothing’s on the books, but everyone on the crew was really nice. It was just a great overall experience. They definitely like to party so (laughs)… I wish we would’ve gotten a little more work done on the road, but it was definitely, overall I’d say, a blast.
HT: The remix for Pretty Lights’ ‘One Day They’ll Know’ has been out for a few weeks now. Some people consider it one of the best releases on the remix album. How exactly were you guys approached to do the remix and how did you guys approach making it?
Harrison: I think that because our manager is on the team of people that help manage Pretty Lights, that he kind of hit up Derek and said, “hey these guys are new and you know, hopefully you dig their sound and they’d love to do a remix for you.” So I don’t know if Derek knew what kind of stuff we did or anything, but yeah we just kind of dove into it. We only had three days to do it, so we just kind of sat in a room for three days straight and just tried to make as many different things building off of different parts of little stems of the song. Eventually we broke it all down and started making a song structure of it. It changed a few times I think.
Clay: Yeah, it started out a little different definitely and then we went back and changed things.
HT: How did the show at Showare Center in Kent, WA, opening for Pretty Lights turn out?
Harrison: Oh, it went amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better audience. At one point the bass was so loud…
Clay: Yeah. We had a little technical difficulties in the middle of it unfortunately. But yeah the bass was pumped up pretty loud and my gear wasn’t completely connected to the table so it ended up rattling loose a power cord, and so we had to shut things down for probably thirty seconds overall and reboot. The crowd didn’t seem to mind, and it was probably the best show of the tour I’d say.
HT: What do you make of some of the grammy nominations for Best Dance/Electronica Album? If you guys had to choose, who would vote for?
Harrison: Ooo, well you know we’re going to go with our boy.” (Laughter)
Clay: Yeah, just the way he went about making that album is, you know, pretty noteworthy in itself. Just the process and everything is pretty new.
Harrison: I’m a little surprised that it was in “dance music” because I don’t know if I necessarily call that—I’d call that more of like a soul record than anything else.
HT: “Yeah I’d agree. I don’t really know how much credibility the Grammys have these days, but it’s nice to see people like that get up on the roster for some recognition”
HT: ODESZA music. It is all free. Is there anyway you’d two would be willing to get signed on a label that would monetize your music, and would you be willing to reduce the amount of people who hear your music in order to make some profit?
Harrison: I think we’d be open to the idea, I mean, if we still have a lot of creative control and everything, but we’re definitely always going to release stuff for free I think. It’s just something we grew up with. Ever since Radiohead did it, we believe in it. A lot of music should be free. It makes perfect sense and we want as many people to hear it as possible. I think we’re always open. I think it’s undeniable that if you put an album out of vinyl, there’s just something so different about that, that you can’t just—you know, you can’t just put it out digitally all the time, and that’s what we’d love to do eventually is get some vinyl releases and stuff. I think we will go kind of into both worlds.
Clay: In the future there is definitely going to be both sides of that coin, because music for free is definitely just the future. I understand paying for vinyl and stuff, the hard copies, I think that’s really important…
Harrison: Or just supporting someone you really enjoy…
Clay: Yeah, exactly. Or like, ‘pay what you want’, is basically, I think, the future of music. Like you can put nothing, you can put whatever you feel comfortable with for a digital download.
HT: Do you guys leave a lot of room open for improvisation when you produce, in the sense that you can get up on stage on flip a new rendition of a track live that you’ve have already recorded?
Harrison: Yeah, we’re still working on our set constantly. I mean we’re always trying to get better. But yeah we try to mix it up on stage, run with some stuff, and I think eventually we’re going to try to do a couple completely new renditions of some songs. I think it’s really cool if you can get someone to recognize a song but it be completely different, in hopefully a good way.
Clay: The way we have our live set up—it’s all broken down into little pieces, so we can mix and match basically whatever works well with everything else. Sometimes it’s just a mistake that works out really well, and like “whoa maybe we should try to keep doing that”. So it’s kind of free form up there.
HT: You guys have Decadence coming up a little later in the month. How excited are you to hit up Colorado for New Year’s Eve?
Harrison: Oh, super excited. My entire family is from Denver, and the few times I’ve been there I’ve really enjoyed it. I can definitely see myself living there at some point, and to be there, like our first show playing there, it’s definitely an honor. We’re just really excited to be a part of such a big party with talented people.
HT: Are you guys sticking around for both days of the event, or just for New Year’s?
Harrison: Well we have a show the next day in San Fransisco, so we have to leave the next day, but we will definitely be there that night. And we’ll be there the day before I think.
Clay: I think we’re there a day before too.
HT: Looking into next year, during January and February you guys are scheduled to tour with Emancipator again. In what ways has his music influenced you guys?
HarrisonI think just that [West Coast] tour, we just learned so much about live music and how to read a crowd and how to perform. Our music is such an other beast from producing that it was just definitely our huge learning experience.
HT: Did he reach out again to get you two on board again for this tour?
Harrison: Yeah, pretty much we just kind of stayed really good friends with his whole team of people—his tour manager, his lighting guy, his booking agent, so we’re all just good friends no. Our manager is really good friends with his manager.
HT: The upcoming tour with Emancipator is heavily concentrated on the east coast compared to the previous tour. How important is it for you guys to take your sounds across the country? Do you feel more driven to build a big fan base in Seattle, west coast, or have small clusters across the States?
Harrison: That’s a tough one. I think, like, the number one thing is, like, we just want to get better at what we do, we want to grow and hopefully just make a style of our own, hopefully people can get into that. I mean, it’s a huge plus if we can have people go along the ride with us and I think that’s one of the hardest things to do as an artist.
HT: Regarding your sound, I’ve heard people call it chill-wave, experimental electronic, some people dump it in the of trap. How would you describe ODESZA’s sound in your own words?
Clay: It’s just so many different sounds that it’s just—it has a unique feel to it on its own. But yeah, experimental, it’s got pop on it, it’s got some tribal feel to it. Loud drums with pretty melodies and harmonies and synth work. That’s kind of how I try to describe it to people.
Harrison: Yeah, it’s hard to put a genre on yourself when there are so many that we like to try to incorporate. There’s a give and a take there. When it’s hard to identify our genre, I think bloggers hear one or two songs and they kind of decide on a genre for us, and that kind of sucks, but I mean everyone’s got to try to identify something. For us we try to change it up as much as possible, so we keep an identifiable feel for what we do, but try to do different things every time.
HT: As the new year approaches, do you guys plans to continue pushing this to a new plateau, and how long do you both see yourselves doing this?
Harrison: That’s a big question. I feel like we can’t really say how this is going to go in any way to predict it. We just kind of got to work our asses off and not blow an opportunity in any way. So we can’t predict anything but we’re going to work really hard. The sky’s the limit cause if we don’t dream big then we probably won’t go as big as we could. We’re trying to work hard, grow as artists and get better and if we can build an audience that way that’s amazing.
HT: Favorite and worst thing about Seattle? I hear it rains a few days out of the year there.
Harrison: Seattle is an amazing place. You’re right by the water, it’s got a bunch of cool mountains and forest area around it, and the people are awesome. But yeah, if you can’t handle rain 90% of the year, it’s going to be a tough one for you.
Clay: The rain is not bad. You get comfortable with being inside a lot, so with producing music it really helps. There’s really not a lot of outside distraction. (Laughter)
Decadence is rolling into to Denver to kick off a New Year’s Eve celebration with one of the biggest and most enticing electronic music line-ups in the country. With the recent round of artist announcements, the Decadence line-up is slowly being molded to its final form. If the announcement of some of the non-headlining acts has still left your eyes attracted to big names, here is a handful of smaller acts who help make Decadence one of the best events in the midwest come NYE, who without, Decadence would not be nearly as monumental as it has become.
Birthed form the roots of Denver, Colorado, Bass Physics is the musical movement pioneered by A.P. Adair and Luke Sims. The duo has been quickly catching speed with a fiery catalog of electronic soul and hip-hop-infused productions. Widely known across the Colorado landscape, Bass Physics will delivering a pungent wave of potent electronic aromas to the Bass Arena on December 30th, creating a perfect setting for who ever succeeds them.
Late Night Radio has been moving up the ranks in Denver, sharing the stage with the likes of GRiZ, Michal Menert, Eliot Lipp, & Marvel Years. Building from a hip-hop rooted musical outlook, Late Night Radio has driven an intricate fusion of bass, polished beats, and soulful breaks onto the plates of electronic music consumers. During the festival Late Night Radio will be joining Keys N Krates & Break Science on the Bass Arena during day one of the festival.
Still riding on the success of his recent Pretty Lights Music EP, ‘Telekinetic‘, SuperVision is one of the NYE additions that adds a mound of incentive and anticipation for the last day of the festival. Drawing from a selection of productions that tremble dance-floors with a storm of hard-hitting electronic delicacies, SuperVision will be setting the crowd off at the Illumination Arena on December 31st and delivering a performance that is not to be missed under any circumstances.
By the second day of the festival, Paul Basic will be rocking his new album at the Illumination Arena. ‘Black Springs’, a new single fresh off his forthcoming LP, ‘Transient Horizons’, which drops via Pretty Lights Music on December 3rd, gives us a mouth-watering taste of what we can expect on NYE. Paul Basic has elevated his sound to a new plateau and if there is one performance that will be roaring with a ground-trembling groove, it is his.
The gravity of this statement should not be undermined. Seattle’s ODESZA is an act that no Decadence attendee should overlook. The duo is surging with a momentum that is rattling every surface of the industry right now. Equipped with a catalog of hypnotizing, enery-rich, and rumbling bass productions, ODESZA’s performance on the Illumination Arena will be the spark that engulfs the dance-floor in flames. Don’t let anyone drag you away from this.
If you’re going to Decadence for some of the bigger names, familiarize yourself with some of the other acts on the roster. So many of them, aside from the selection mentioned above, are shaping Decadence out to be one of the most anticipated NYE events and have so much to offer musically in addition to the energy they bring which gives life to the magnificence that we all expect Decadence to explode with.