ODESZA’s new album ‘A Moment Apart’ takes listeners on a journey to electronic heights

ODESZA's new album, A Moment Apart, was released this past Friday, Sept. 8.

After gaining popularity touring the music festival circuit for the past few years, Seattle duo ODESZA has released their third album, A Moment Apart, on Sept. 8. While the album reigns true to their classic chillwave electronic sound, ODESZA — formed by producers Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight — proves they have made strides towards curating their unique sound even further.

EDM often gets flack for sounding similar, with heavy bass drops and generic vocals that make it hard to distinguish one artist from the next. However, ODESZA has consistently stood out by expanding on electronic music and adding melodic beats, indie vocals and glowing synth lines. Powerful and captivating, the album is in itself an aural journey into the creative worlds of Mills and Knight.

The intro to the album starts with a clip from the movie “Another Earth.” We hear the woman from the movie discussing a story about an astronaut who, after hearing a sound with no source, is forced to save his sanity by falling in love with it. The intro fades into the next song, “A Moment Apart,” with several seconds between the movie clip and the vocals. This creates a moment in time for listeners themselves to fall in love with the sound of the album and prepare themselves for a listening journey.

Though every song on the 16-track album is impressive, several artist features offer a few standout tracks. “Across the Room” features soul singer Leon Bridges. The track mixes Bridges’ passionate vocals with a female gospel singer, creating an uplifting anthem that begs to be sung along to. Regina Spektor, a Russian indie songwriter, shines on the track “Just a Memory.” As a soothing breakup song, it feels as though it’s meant to shine light in those dark moments of heartbreak.

Another standout track, “Divide,” packs a punch in the opening beat, pulling the listener into an upbeat tempo that contrasts many of the other laidback tracks on the album. Kelsey Bulkin, a lesser known singer from L.A., sings, “Everybody prays to God, by different names / tell me your version, you don’t have to fake it.” With a strong balance between beat and lyrics, the song offers some raw moments for listeners to relate to.

However, “Boy” shines as one of ODESZA’s signature, minimal-vocal songs. Though the artist features sent A Moment Apart into new territory, “Boy” creates a space for listeners to hear how beautiful music can truly be. We only hear the lyrics “Ooh boy” melded into the beat, but the song is worthy of its own moment in time.

A Moment Apart is an album that features a taste of everything ODESZA has done well over their career. A mixture of artist features, poetic lyrics and original beats show listeners that ODESZA has curated an original sound all to themselves. Do yourself a favor and plug in your earbuds, lay out in the sun and take a moment to listen to the album straight through. Fall in love with the sound. When you do, be sure to catch ODESZA playing at the Alliant Energy Center on Nov. 10.

Grade: A

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