Odesza – In Return [Album Review]

first_imgThe first song I heard by Odesza was “One Day They’ll Know,” a re-work that was featured on electronic producer Pretty Lights’ A Color Map of the Sun remix album. It gave me goosebumps. Rarely does a remix sound just as good (if not arguably better) than the original track. But with EDM trends progressing from heavy bass and dub step to either a lighter, “future bass” aesthetic or a more minimal house/techno sound, Washington-based group Odesza’s 2012 debut album Summer’s Gone sounded like a breath of fresh air.The follow-up LP released Monday, aptly titled In Return, showcases duo Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills’ musical progression over the last two years. A collection of 13 original tracks featuring original vocals, Odesza’s latest work features more musical depth and a more mature organic sound, compared with their first full-length debut. Featuring the same ethereal, danceable qualities that appeal to a diverse audience of listeners, Odesza has found a formula that works consistently without sounding trite. They have a knack for crafting catchy melodies complemented with elegantly chopped up, ultra-feminine vocals.Released via iTunes and Odesza’s official website, In Return features their recent single “Sun Models” featuring vocals by Madelyn Grant, which quickly rose to the top of the Hypem charts. Soon after, their remix of the highly remixed song “Faded” by Zhu followed suit, along with In Return’s second single, “Memories That You Call (ft. Moonsiren).”Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, it’s almost inevitable that Knight and Wills’ music sounds heavily influenced by the culture, beauty and mysticism of the region. As a result, Odesza’s incorporation of birds, dreamy harps, xylophones and piano chords feels natural and well-constructed. From the slower, dreamier track “Bloom,” which consists of claps, chains and music box-like melodies, to the spacey, sensual, 80s-influenced “All We Need (ft. Shy Girls),” In Return also demonstrates the group’s interest in experimenting and pushing the limits of their sound. Infused with bell chimes and samples of a children’s choir, for example, “Kusanagi” is a peaceful, unique track that is worth a listen on its own. Fans of Tycho, Emancipator Ensemble and even Flume, for example, would enjoy Odesza’s sound. The Eastern-influenced jam “Sundara” and the darker “Koto” is also highly recommended (especially for those who might prefer tracks of the less bubbly, dance pop nature.)In similar fashion, the newest single “Say My Name (ft. Zyra)” has become one of the most popular dance tracks on the Internet. Zyra’s saccharine yet soulful voice is also featured on “It’s Only,” one of my favorites from the LP; although, with such a strong track list, I’d have to admit it’s hard to choose a favorite.With nearly every track adding a unique layer to the album, In Return is a collection in which one doesn’t need to cherry-pick tracks; it won’t be a surprise if producers and DJs make use of the ample material with either amped up or downtempo remixes. This album sounds best played all the way through. It’s a 45-minute escape that feels uplifiting, magical and mysterious all at once. Check out Odesza’s latest music video for “Say My Name (ft. Zyra)” here:In Return Tracklisting:1. Always This Late2. Say My Name (ft. Zyra)3. Bloom4. All We Need (ft. Shy Girls)5. Sundara6. White Lies (ft. Jennie Potts)7. Kusanagi — bells, chords …bell chorus of children?8. 9. Echoes ft. Py9. It’s Only ft. Zyra10. Koto11. Memories That You Call (ft. Moonsiren)12. Sun Models (ft. Madelyn Grant)13. For Us (ft. Briana Marela)last_img