Odesza: Blowing Up

Odesza is a two piece production outfit hailing from Seattle, consisting of Harrison Mills (AKA Catacombkid) and Clayton Knight (AKA BeachesBeaches). In conjunction with the changing seasons, the two recently released their debut album Summer’s Gone to a warm reception from the Northwest music crowd, and to support the album, they are embarking upon a mini-tour along with Beat Connection, reaching Bellingham (Nov. 9), Portland (Nov. 15), Spokane (Nov. 16), and Seattle (Nov. 17).

Both independent artists in their own right, Harrison and Clay met while attending Western. Harrison’s project under the name Catacombkid, is characterized by it’s laid back “trip hop” vibe, while Clay’s BeachesBeaches project is more of an up-tempo dance feel. After settling on the idea of collaborating, they discovered that their respective styles and approaches to production were compatible enough to begin working on a full length album. “I think when you collaborate with someone on music it’s really obvious when it’s not working,” says Mills. “We both have a similar approach when it comes to production so each of us had an insight on where to take each track. I think we achieved what we set out to do in the beginning which was to just make a record that could work as headphone music as well as make people dance at a live venue.”

Although Odesza was initially a recording project, their intention has always been to play live shows as well. After the release of their album, they began acquiring the necessary software and equipment to gain the ability to perform their tracks in a live setting. Mills states, “From the very beginning we’ve wanted to play shows, it was the main goal but we weren’t completely prepared for the process it takes to be ready to do that. We wanted to have full control over the song to be able to manipulate every piece separately live. It was a bit of an adjustment to learn completely new software and hardware to play our tracks but it’s been worth it in the end.”

“Summer’s Gone” additionally features other local musicians layering in guitar and vocals, including former Bellingham resident Alex Niedzialkowski of Cumulus. Mills says, “The recording process is usually starting with a loop or sound and each of us taking turns layering on top of it with drums, vocals and synths. From time to time a friend will walk into the room and just start jamming with us, this lead to a lot of the guitar parts on the album.”

Odesza is not stopping with the Pacific Northwest, or even the US. When asked about their future plans, they revealed larger ambitions. “We just finished getting everything together for the live show so after our mini-tour with Beat Connection we’re going to be playing some shows around the US with the possibility of touring in Australia. We’re just happy people enjoyed the album and want to see us. While we book more shows we’ll be steadily working on the next album and hopefully working with some other cool musicians.”