I am always beyond excited to discover a new ODESZA track. For me, ODESZA goes beyond indie electronic. They make such pure and organic music, tracks that are a refreshing change from the constant flood of pop music. And their albums are seamless too, carefully crafted with a brilliant coherence. I’d say ODESZA is probably the only electronic artist whose albums I will listen to cover to cover without skipping a track.
A Seattle based group comprised of producers Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, ODESZA jumped on the radar in 2012 with the release of their debut album Summer’s Gone (a personal favorite electronic album of mine), and built up their reputation with the 2013 release of their first EP My Friends Never Die along with their second studio album In Return, released in 2014. After a lot of hype on social media, “Line of Sight” was released in tandem with another single titled “Late Night” in anticipation of their third studio album that is to be released later this year.
“Line of Sight” showed a really different angle of the group. To an extent they still kept their unmistakable sound, yet something was different. For one, I think they explored a much more indie rock sound than one may reasonably expect from an indietronica group, especially with their inclusion of Australian indie band Mansionair within the track. In addition, the vocals of WYNNE were far different from the heavily processed vocals we may expect from such tracks as “Sun Models” featuring Madelyn Grant or “Say My Name” featuring Zyra. Rather than adding heavy processing to the vocals, WYNNE’s vocal structure and timbre were mostly kept intact, emulating the sound of a popular indie or rock band rather than typical electronic tracks.
I think this different sort of approach to producing is reflective of an emerging trend within electronic music production where you’re seeing artists producing music that is arranged to sound like a full band. You can definitely see that trend with a group like The Chainsmokers, although their music has always been more pop-oriented than the average EDM artist and perhaps more susceptible to variation. Of course, this trend is by no means ubiquitous throughout the entire electronic scene, especially as up-and-coming artists have stuck to their electronic roots with the rise of such genres as future bass. In any case, it’s interesting to see that at least some artists, including ODESZA, are following this pattern, which certainly opens unforeseen doors for their future musical endeavors.