People complain about EDM for all sorts of reasons, some going as far as calling it fake music because of its reliance on computers and synthesizers rather than a composition of instruments. But if you want to prove EDM has soul, look no further than ODESZA’s much-anticipated third studio album, A Moment Apart.
The album takes a more mellow turn compared to their previous work and transforms what at the surface seems like a chill electronic mix into a glowing sonic journey. After the dramatic spoken word “Intro” concludes, you will find yourself immersed in an album that uniquely fuses several styles of music.
Though ODESZA, which consists of producers Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, likes to collaborate with lesser known artists, the album features more mainstream musicians such as Russian pop princess Regina Spektor and soul singer Leon Bridges.
“Higher Ground,” which features vocals from Naomi Wild, is the third track and one of the album’s most captivating. The song, with delicate drumming patterns and a nostalgic beat drop, conveys the familiarity one experiences at a festival, dancing along to synth-heavy rhythms with a sea of strangers.
“Just A Memory” featuring Regina Spektor, is haunting and highlights impressive vocal dexterity as Spektor brags of her maturation to a lost lover. The song blissfully fuses synthesized instruments with Spektor’s delicate yet chilling falsettos.
“We got this private performance in her hotel room and it was absolutely beautiful,” ODESZA told Billboard on the collaboration. “She opened her eyes and said, ‘Uh, would you guys change anything?’ And we said, ‘Absolutely not.'”
The duo maintains their organic sound by weaving several genres. “La Ciudad” fuses house music with the marvelously high-pitched beats that popularized ODESZA. The drum work on the song is impressive and will surely have you tapping your feet.
ODESZA experiments with their beats to create a dreamlike, nearly cinematic experience. Each beat drop is an auditory and almost visual journey. You don’t always know the words being hummed, and sometimes you can’t even tell if you’re listening to high-pitched string instruments or vocals from an obscure SoundCloud babe. Nonetheless, you’ll find yourself immersed in the album’s impressive ability to encapsulate its listeners with a plethora of layered beats.