ODESZA, In Return
Out September 9, Counter Records, inreturn.odesza.com
EDM is at the brink of oversaturation, the tipping point where niche genre becomes full-on pop movement. With a track on the Divergent soundtrack, the production duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, aka Odesza, might add to that impression. But this release—the pair's sophomore effort—dismisses it fully. With a foot in both the artistic and accessible music worlds, the group placates cynical purists and party loving teen alike. And while it never breaks out into completely obscure territory, the band favors tasteful, downplayed rhythms over in-your-face “Turn Down For What?” bangers. There are surprisingly moody moments like the ambient “Kusanagi” and the erupting ballad “It’s Only,” while the talents of fellow Pacific Northwest artists like Jenni Potts, Briana Marela, and Shy Girls add color to dreamy instrumentals and shine as some of the record’s best moments (Shy Girls’ Dan Vidmar’s soulful cry seems predestined to blend with Odesza’s lush and ethereal beats). As we predicted earlier this year, Odesza is priming itself to be the next big thing in electronic music; by the sounds of In Return, they’re going about it with their artistic vision intact.