Odesza is arguably one of electronic music’s biggest rising acts, and Thursday night the Seattle-based duo showed us why they deserve that distinction with the first of two sold out shows at Mezzanine. Back when we last saw Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight in April, they were already establishing themselves as a solid act to follow, selling out the Independent on the strength of their debut album Summers Gone. Today, Odesza is selling out two days at the larger Mezzanine, months in advance.
A big part of the increased buzz around their music has been the release of the new album In Return. Released September 9th, the album is excellent start to finish, and is definitely one of my personal favorites of 2014. I have described Odesza’s sound in the past as “flowing ambient melodies and electronic beats that are heavy on pitch changes” or like someone remixing the classic New Age compilation Pure Moods. The new album doesn’t stray from their roots, but builds on their skill producing music. The detail on each synth note, custom drum kick and pitch change is impeccable. There is also a new maturity and intensity to the songs, probably most evident in the collaborations with vocal artists, bringing a whole new level of depth to the tracks.
The finished product contains tracks like “Say my Name (feat. Zyra)”
On stage, the duo is electric, moving with the crowd as the music flows through them. Like so many of the better live electronic acts these days, they embrace the performance art side of creating music. We all know that they could get on stage and press play on their studio tracks, but they instead become the conduits, incorporating live drumming into the act to help humanize the music. You can tell that they are having as much fun as the crowd up there and seemed genuinely surprised and humbled by the sea of humanity that came to see them on a Thursday night. Definitely make sure Odesza is on your radar, they are only getting better with each release and tour.