Posted on by: acid stag

ODESZA: In return [Album Review + Stream]

Words by Vicki Winter.

The recurring ‘Hype M’ chart topping sensation ODESZA, have just released their new album In Return, and it is no surprise to us that the record consists of back-to-back hits with pulsing bass lines and tantalising synths. If you haven’t heard of them before, get out from under the rock you have been living and jump on the bandwagon!

Five “bandwagon” facts we think you should know about ODESZA:
– The Seattle melotronica duo Harrison Mills (aka CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches) began their bromance at Western Washington University where they used to share music interests and jam in the basement.
– What started as quite a casual fling has now resulted in over 15 million SoundCloud streams, over 7.5 million Spotify plays, and 10 Hype Machine number 1 tracks in the mere 2 years since they formed.
– The boys have an ongoing mixtape series called NO.SLEEP which is dedicated to insomniacs. You can listen to the mixes on their SoundCloud.
– Before ODESZA, Knight studied classical and jazz piano and Mills was a bonafide ’90s hip hopper.
– There are three stories we found as to how their name came about: First, Odessa was the name of Mill’s uncle’s ship, which sank, and only his uncle and one other crew member survived. Second, they took their handle from the Ukrainian port of Odessa. Third, they really like the song ‘Odessa’ by Caribou. In all situations, the second ‘s’ was dropped for a ‘z’ as there is already a UK hardcore act called ‘Odessa’.

The good stuff:
Their previous Summers Gone EP and album My Friends Never Die, were both solid releases for the boys, and crucial in developing their huge, underground viral following. However the latest record In Return brings a whole new calibre to their electronic work. The sound has matured through the consistency of their immaculate production, plus the choice to incorporate of a touch of pop, and guest vocalists, give listeners a relatable experience they can latch on to.

Each of the 13 tracks on the record have a refreshing, addictive sound and you will definitely find something to love about each of them. It has been agonising trying to choose which ones to highlight, but we managed to pick 5 notable stand outs… at the moment.

‘Say My Name’ and ‘It’s Only’ featuring Zyra are two heroes on the album, which would not be the same without Zyra‘s unique vocal melodies. She sings with a cute yet funky innocence and her lyrics can be both thought-provoking and delightfully naïve and sweet “I wanna dance with you”. The union came about when she contacted the boys through a private feed, sending them a link to her rocking out one of their old tracks. Mills and Knight quickly realised the possibilities of working with Zyra and it wasn’t long before both songs were locked down.

‘Memories That You Call’ featuring Monsoonsiren is summer in a song. It’s the wind in your hair… the sun on your face…the waves rolling between your toes. With offbeat samples, voluptuous synths and heart-warming vocals this track will leave you feeling giddy and euphoric, not to mention in search of a body of water and a cold, refreshing beer.

‘Sun Models’ featuring Madelyn Grant is another mood-altering keeper. It’s sexy, its beatsy, and it’s repetitive. Basically it’s everything you could want in a down tempo electronic track. Madelyn Grant also serenaded our ears earlier this year with her soulful vocals on FKJ’s track ‘Waiting’.

Our last pick ‘Kusanagi’ takes it down a notch with a beautiful ‘Jonsi and Alex‘ vibe intro, and gives you the perfect opportunity to zen-out on calming wind chime synths, and nostalgic childhood samples. One can’t help but feel the utopian effects of this blissed out track.

The bottom line:
In Return is the kind of infectious album that somehow becomes perfect in any situation. Whether you are chilling at home, trekking out on a road trip, or getting hyped for a night on the town, ODESZA have you covered.

Rating: ★★★★☆

You can purchase In Return from iTunes now.

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Filed: Featured, Music News, Reviews, Streams

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