In 2012, a striking new voice emerged from the wider surge of electronic music in the U.S. ODESZA’s Summer’s Gone stood out from the crowd; it was a collection of songs, not just beats; and its irresistible, startling dreaminess, addictive drums and fathoms-deep bass set it apart from the by-the-numbers brutality of EDM’s also-rans. In an age of manufactured internet buzz and carefully plotted hype, ODESZA’s story was refreshingly authentic: A brilliant new duo unveiled their music on the internet, and the world paid attention.
Harrison Mills (aka CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches) began recording together after meeting at Western Washington University. There was instant chemistry, and the pair worked prolifically, quickly carving out a distinctive, heady sound: glitched-out vocals, soaring, visceral melody and ear-gripping drums. Two songs from Summer’s Gone – “How Did I Get Here” and “iPlayYouListen” – instantly leapt to number 1 on the Hype Machine Popular Chart. ODESZA began to make evangelical fans, with word of their music setting the world – both real and virtual – alight.
2013 saw the release of the My Friends Never Die EP, with three of the five tracks hitting #1 on Hype Machine. Relentless touring followed, including dates with Pretty Lights, Emancipator, Michal Menert, and performances at Sasquatch Music Festival, Lightning In A Bottle, What The Festival, Summer Meltdown, Capitol Hill Block Party, MusicfestNW, Decibel Festival and Symbiosis Gathering. Thrown in at the deep end, ODESZA quickly honed a live craft to match that of their recordings.
The duo was playing to larger and larger crowds when Pretty Lights asked them to be the support act on the fall Pretty Lights tour, and to remix “One Day They’ll Know,” which also hit #1 on Hype Machine and #8 on the iTunes Electronic Chart. Later in 2013, ODESZA selected their favourite producers for a follow up remix EP, My Friends Never Die Remixes, and launched the ambitious, ongoing mixtape series NO.SLEEP.
February 2014 brought the release of the ODESZA single “Sun Models (feat. Madelyn Grant,)” taken from the duo’s forthcoming second album. This song continued the trend they’d set previously, and it too hit #1 on Hype Machine. In March 2014 ODESZA’s remix of Pretty Lights’ “Lost And Found” was released on the DIVERGENT movie soundtrack, and (you guessed it!) hit #1 on Hype Machine.
Harrison and Clayton headed back into the studio, putting the finishes touches to their forthcoming second album, before setting out on a sold out North American tour in Spring, culminating in a performance at Coachella. Not wanting to leave their growing legion of fans wanting, the duo’s remix of ZHU’s hit “Faded” was released, taking their #1s on the Hype Machine chart straight into double figures.
Summer 2014 saw ODESZA visit Australia to play a series of live dates, before heading back to North America for festivals, and to polish up and master their now hotly anticipated sophomore album.
And finally that brand new album is here. In Return has more than just delivered on the promise of ODESZA’s previous work. A record with a precocious maturity and coherence, it’s a start-to-finish stunner of pop-infused, electronic wonder, littered with infectious hooks and potent atmosphere. Vocal performances from Zyra, Py and Shy Girls accompany that of Madelyn Grant on Sun Models, expertly worked into ODESZA’s trademark, mood-altering uplift.
ODESZA are set to tour the album throughout the fall, playing long runs of sold out dates across the U.S and Europe. A new live performance has been developed to accompany In Return – ensuring that the shows will do full justice to the album – and a host of like minded artists are busily remixing the singles.
One of the stunning aspects of ODESZA is the speed with which they’ve created a large, devoted fanbase – testament to just how refreshing, immediate and exciting their music is. ODESZA has amassed over 15 million SoundCloud streams, at an average of 500,000 per week. They’ve picked up 7.5 million Spotify plays, and been licensed by Adidas, GoPro, Piz Buin and many more.
That’s a lot of people who’ve been waiting on the new album. Luckily for them, In Return is everything fans might have hoped for and then some: An album that places ODESZA firmly in the vanguard of electronic music’s coming of age.
"ODESZA’s…’iPlayYouListen’…fits firmly in the goopy electro-camp of acts like Purity Ring and Chvrches, where ebullient production floats on a stormy, synthy sea, where bright notes reflect even brighter off the water" -The FADER
"Their new jam, ‘My Friends Never Die,’ feels like crashing down a waterfall on a bouquet of roses with Flying Lotus as your chauffeur. These are stoner jams to smack your bubblegum to — full of hip-hop grooves and sunshine." - Vice’s Thump
"Accented by a pretty piano riff, the graceful track [‘Home’] takes its time while taking your brain on a calm ride, eventually getting comfy under a sexy bass-and-snap drumbeat." - Interview Magazine
"Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight have spent the last couple years creating dreamy instrumental hip-hop as Catacombkid and BeachesBeaches, respectively. And while Catacombkid’s late-night beauty feels counterpoint to Beaches’ sunny bliss - together, as ODESZA, they create a world where both exist in gorgeous harmony." - Stereogum