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 #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 Emancipator and numerous festival performances including Sasquatch Music Festival and Lightning In A Bottle. 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 his fall 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 favorite producers for a follow up remix EP, My Friends Never Die Remixes, and launched the ambitious, ongoing mixtape and eventual party 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 2014, 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.
Released September 9th 2014, 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 developed a new live performance to accompany In Return, ensuring that the shows do full justice to the album. Their work ethic and constant evolution has resulted in sold out headline tours of North America last fall, Australia this winter and North America again this spring with every show selling out in advance in the biggest venues they’ve headlined to date. Never ones to settle, ODESZA’s ambitious live production continues to expand in time for performances at every major music festival this summer including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Hangout, Sasquatch, Governors Ball, Firefly, Melt and more.
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. To date, ODESZA has earned 21 Hype Machine #1s, amassed over 66 million SoundCloud streams, over 29 million Spotify plays in the last 90 days, over 34.5 million Pandora plays in the last 30 days, been licensed by Adidas, Target, GoPro, Royal Caribbean, The North Face, Piz Buin and many more, and collaborated with powerhouses such as Buzzfeed and Tumblr. In Return debuted at #1 on the Billboard Electronic chart with 13 weeks in the Top 10, #42 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, # 1 on the iTunes Electronic Chart where it spent 15 days in a row, cracked the iTunes Electronic Chart Top 10 in 7 other countries outside the U.S., and reached #20 on the iTunes Overall Albums chart. Their breakout single, “Say My Name (feat. Zyra),” reached #1 on the Hype Machine popular chart twice, #1 on the Spotify US Viral Chart, #2 on the Spotify Global Chart, was named iTunes Single of the Week in many countries around the globe, and is currently the #1 most played song on 8Tracks. The “Say My Name” video was named a Vimeo staff pick and saw airplay on MTV Hits, MTVU and Fuse. ODESZA has also been commissioned to make remixes for Sia, Charli XCX, RAC, Angus & Julia Stone, Slow Magic, Ki:Theory and many more to come.
In addition to their explosive growth online and in the electronic space, ODESZA is making waves in the mainstream with strong radio play around the globe at stations such as KCRW, KEXP, The Current, Triple J, BBC Radio 1 and Sirius AltNation where they’ve cracked the Alt18. The duo has also been highlighted in the national press, from The New York Times and NPR Music, to TIME and Entertainment Weekly. Poised to become one of electronic music’s biggest breakout stories of 2014/2015, ODESZA will surely become one of music’s biggest prime movers in years to come. They’ve already capitalized on the success of their NO.SLEEP mix and party series by launching Foreign Family Collective, an outlet for musicians and visual artists alike curated by ODESZA themselves. Foreign Family Collective’s debut release was the huge R&B/electronic pop banger, “Fiend,” from Troy Samuela & Monsoonsiren with forthcoming releases and projects from Big Wild and more exciting, cutting edge producers and graphic artists. The sky is the limit for these young turks.