ODESZA – ‘A Moment Apart’ (Album Review)
Happiness all around these days for many electro fans, as the alternative Seattle-based duo ODESZA released their third studio album on September 8. After Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight‘s 2012 breakthrough with “Say My Name” and their debut album ‘Summer’s Gone’, things took off quickly for ODESZA. The EP ‘My Friends Never Die’ followed in 2013 and a year later the duo’s second album ‘In Return’ was very well-received throughout all corners of the world. After already teasing the tracklist earlier this year, the eagerly awaited third album ‘A Moment Apart’ is now here!
A total of 4 singles already saw daylight previous to the september 8 release of the album. “Late Night” and “Line Of Sight” debuted in april of this year, to be followed in June by two additional singles, “Meridian” and “Corners Of The Earth” featuring Australian singer/songwriter RY X. These 4 tracks alone were just the appetizer, proving the duo’s somewhat alternative approach to electronic music yet again, ranging from dreamy pop ballads to light EDM tunes. And now, the main course is ready to be served.
‘A Moment Apart’ brings quite an impressive total of 16 tracks, each and every one of them portraying the great diversity and willingness to experiment, that marks the ODESZA sound. Electro, combined with indie pop vocalists such as WYNNE and Mansionair and the soulful Leon Bridges. Mills and Knight actually sat down in the studio for a considerable amount of time with them, which wasn’t the case with ‘In return’, that also featured collabs with several vocalists. ODESZA explains:
‘In Return’ was our first real try at writing full tracks, having top lines and working with other vocalists. A lot of ‘In Return’ was done via email and by swapping tracks back and forth. So, for ‘A Moment Apart’, we were in the studio quite a bit working with the vocalists, and tried to be as much a part of the top line writing process as possible.”
The new album contains vocal tracks for both on and off the dancefloors, as well as some energetic, powerful instrumental interludes. After the interesting intro (a snippet from the 2011 movie Another Earth), the title track “A Moment Apart” offers a promising start into the journey. Smooth piano chords and slightly pitched vocals create a pretty original type of EDM club tune. Other stand out tracks immediately following are the bold and EDM/poppy “Higher Ground”, with flawless vocals by Naomi Wild, and the previously released “Meridian”, with its Native American-esque vocals and catchy beat.
Also particularly interesting are what could be considered the pillars of the record: “Late Night”, “Show Me”, “Divide” (featuring Kelsey Bulkin) and “Across The Room”, with the soulful voice of Leon Bridges, showing ODESZA’s drive to take experimenting with various sounds to the next level. Wrapping up the album is one of the highlights, the sizzling synthpop single “Corners Of The Earth” featuring RY X, that fans came to know already in June.
As a whole, there is plenty of goodness to be found on ‘A Moment Apart’, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it excites as much as the duo’s impressive second album ‘In Return’ did. At times, the album really shows ODESZA‘s ability to come up with something original and new, but every now and then it seems somewhat out of place on an electro- or EDM album. Nevertheless, each and every liveshow of the duo is truly something unique, so fans should go out there and catch them somewhere on their world tour through Europe, Australia and North America in the months to come.
The full album can be streamed down here.