Just this year alone, Odesza’s packed a whirlwind schedule jetting all over the world for their latest album tour and a string of festival appearances. The DJ duo has been making appearances at pretty much all the major music festivals this year – Coachella, Lollapalooza, We The Fest, Good Vibes, Laneway… There’s nothing chill about them or their latest album, “A Moment Apart”, which was even nominated for Best Dance/ Electronic Album in this year’s Grammy Awards.
“A Moment Apart” is probably the grandest album that Odesza has put out so far. And a more personal one at that too. With a more whimsical take on pop-EDM, Naomi Wild, WYNNE and Leon Bridges lend their vocals to the album. With thumping trap beats and billowing vocals, each track builds on the next in bigger climaxes with an underlying raw energy that’s just waiting to break free.
Odesza with Sean Kusanagi at Fuji Rock Festival
With such energy packed tracks, experiencing the electronic duo live is like watching a theatre show rather than bopping your head to the beat in a club. The only word we can really use to describe an Odesza set is epic. If you wanted to quote Clayton Knight, “the music will make the hair on the back of your neck stand”. With this in mind, Odesza brings out the entire works for their live stages to create a cinematic experience. Think aerial drones, a live drum line, and of course, special guests. And that’s on top of their light show and visuals.
We sat down with the duo for a quick chat at their recent performance at We The Fest in Indonesia to catch up on what they’ve been up to.
Congrats at finally having making it to the Coachella Mainstage. We heard that you guys pulled out the entire works for it!
We’d actually played Coachella twice before. Once at the Do Lab stage which is a small tent stage, and then a couple years ago at one of the secondary stages. Playing the main stage was incredible though. We got to really pull out all the stops when it came to our production and show, and tried to bring our cinematic style to a festival stage, which was a fun challenge.
Your recent performance at We The Fest, Indonesia was another festival milestone for Odesza, and a highlight for many fans.
Thank you! We’re honored to hear that you considered it a highlight. It was incredible playing in Indonesia for the first time, to see how many fans we have here, and to hear them singing along to our songs. When we started out we never dreamed we’d be playing our music this far from home.
You wanted to do something different for your third album –A Moment Apart. Tell us more about the inspirations behind the album.
For us, this album is all about perspective – taking a step back to get a wider view. We’ve always had a lot of different influences style-wise, from ambient music to film scores to soul to hip-hop. We tried to bring all of that to this album, but deliver a cohesive experience.
Which is your favourite track off A Moment Apart?
One of the major highlights was getting to work with Regina Spektor on “Just A Memory”. We’d both been fans for a really long time, and sent her this instrumental that we’d made specifically with her in mind. We knew it was a long shot, and didn’t hear anything back, so we figured it wasn’t going to happen. Then out of the blue we got an email that she was in Seattle (where we live) and wanted to show us the demo she had for the song. She didn’t want to email it to us, so we met Regina at her hotel room. We thought she was going to play the demo and ask us for feedback, but instead she hit play on the original instrumental on her laptop, and sang the entire song for us live in the hotel room. It was as surreal an experience as we’ve ever had as musicians and fans.
You’ve collaborated with quite a few vocalists for this album. How was it like working with the various artists?
That’s one of our favourite parts of making music. It’s really inspiring when you find a collaborator that can help you take a song to a place that you couldn’t have taken it on your own. We work very collaboratively, so it’s rare that a song ends up exactly how either of us envisioned it at the start.
We’d love to work with some hip-hop artists in the future. We’re also constantly on the lookout for undiscovered singers.
Did you guys run into any musical conflicts after producing together for so long?
We respect each other’s opinion a lot when it comes to production. There are always some disagreements during the process, but we have a level of trust where if the other person has feedback we don’t agree with, we’ll step back and re-visit it with an open mind, because usually the feedback is right.
How do you guys keep up with the crazy schedules from touring life?
We’re used to it by now, and our entire tour team is like a second family. It’s always nice to be home, but we’re lucky to be able to travel the world and play music. The past few weeks touring around Europe have been great – the music you hear around European cities, even just sitting in a hotel lobby, is so much more interesting than in America. Then we got to spend the past few days off in Bali before these shows, which was incredible.
And what’s next after the A Moment Apart Tour ends?
We’re looking forward to getting back in the studio and working on the next album. We’ve been completely immersed in making and touring “A Moment Apart” for the last 3+ years, and we have a lot of new ideas we want to work on.
Interview was edited for clarity. Thanks to We The Fest for the opportunity!