ALBUM REVIEW: Odesza – ‘A Moment Apart’

Electronic duo Odesza stray little from their comfort zone with their third studio album A Moment Apart, and indeed continue to make comfortable, chill tracks.  Released September 8th, A Moment Apart offers insight into the experience and success that Odesza has gained since their 2012 debut.

Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight found themselves riding that chill wave that washed the end of the naughties and continues today.  There is no secret to the effectiveness of electronic music on the human brain, the up-tempo ambience is pleasing to any ear and conjures relief and hopefulness in the most trying of times.  Odesza’s self released debut Summer’s Gone captures the genre at its chillest peak in 2012.  2014 saw the duo’s first major label release In Return, mastering a choppy epic sound and various vocal cameos and falsetto samples.  A Moment Apart is a similar recipe in a not so similar landscape.

The album begins with a sampled intro of the 2011 film Another Earth and already, the album is venturing into space, attempting to take to listener away from their present home.  The album kicks into gear and there is a distinct familiarity, bass synth and trap beats accompanied by an almost indistinguishable female vocal sample; this is the comfort zone.  The chill waves continue, bordering on redundancy, the suspected ingredients pour out; cameos including Regina Spektor, The Chamanas, and Leon Bridges, who appears on the soulful “Across the Room”, a more singer songwriter approach amidst the electronic production.  The Chamanas add a fusion flare to the track “Everything At Your Feet” while Spektor lays out her signature haunting voice to the following song “Just A Memory”.  A Moment Apart seems to contain every ambient electronic sound you can imagine throughout the album, all the while sticking with a universal formula; a comforting, upbeat style with the ever effective break away from the beat only to reintroduce it at a pleasing moment.  You can hear every sub-genre of electronica in any given song, if not for the consistent bass synth the album would come across erratic and forced, and yet it flows comfy in the background as the listener drifts into personal thought.

The effectiveness of this music is evident in our mono-cultural times, the influx of multi-genre festivals creates an atmosphere where Odesza will always be welcome for a late night slot, the accessibility, danceability, and overall affable nature makes for an easy communal experience, at a concert or alone in a bedroom.  A Moment Apart may not be breaking musical barriers but it doesn’t mean to.  It may intend to take you away from this earth, but it is truly a product and reflection of our current times here on this planet.

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