Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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Odesza takes over The Blue Note

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Thunder claps opened “Odesza’s” set Thursday night at the Blue Note. While outside the skies were clear, the deep bass drums flooded the room with shockwaves of raw force as flashes of iridescent light dramatically outlined their two silhouettes. After a breathtaking introductory display, the band quickly segued into its hit single “Memories that You Call.”

Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills met during their years at Western Washington University but they did not begin to collaborate musically until after they graduated. Their first album, “Summer’s Gone,” made significant ripples in the electro-pop and house music communities in 2012. Knight and Mills infuse their other passions into their music. Having studied Math and Physics, and Graphic Design respectively, Knight and Mills have taken a metronomic approach to their beats while layering their sound with illustrative melodies.

The electronica duo has created a sound equal parts dance music and atmosphere, which gives listeners excuses to unwind and let go. Using deep drum rhythms, they build a foundation for a shimmering collage of electric melodies, distorted strings, and sampled vocals. One can almost pick out the sounds of a sitar or Eastern Strings in their songs, floating throughout seamless tempo and key changes. It is this kind of exotic resonance that gives their music a transitive medium from sound to dreams. Their music is not just about escapism, though.

“Odesza” is an artist of our time. In the current digital-share, instant remix, blog-and-play internet era, music has become a conversation between producer and consumer like never before. Electronic music has become an essential part of this dialogue because of software, which now makes sampling, looping, and layering tracks easier than ever before.  “Odesza” has remixed several of their own tracks and collaborated with other artists in this endeavor.

In September of last year the band released its second album,In Return,” which scored a number one on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums chart. The speed at which information and music is now exchanged is a big part of why quality artists are fast-tracked into the spotlight.

In this case, however, “Odesza” has earned every bit of their spotlight.

Their set continued with mostly tracks from their new album. The screen behind them pulsed with designs, videos and colors befitting of the ethereal journey which took place Thursday at the Blue Note. The room pulsed with a chill thrill like some kind of new-age hippie rave. Everyone in the crowd moved with the music and surrendered themselves to the sound, which is exactly how one must approach “Odesza.”

The set ended after a quick hour, to many in the crowd’s disappointment. After a few minutes of chanting though, we were treated to three encore songs.  “All We Need” featuring “Shy Girls” and “Say My Name” featuring “Zyra” lit the crowd ablaze. They wound down with the “Zhu” remix of their track
“Faded.”

While “Odesza” is the kind of band most will encounter while surfing blogs on their computer at home, they are well worth tracking down for a live show. The band is currently touring across the States with their new album “In Return.”

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