Album Review: Odesza – In Return

odesza_in_returnWhen club music veers into alternative territory, splashes through the waters of chillwave and resurfaces amongst the electronica glitter, you get the sound that is Odesza. For sure, the Seattle duo’s first full length album In Return, released earlier this month on Counter Records, tends to rely a little too overtly on high-wheeling, pitch-shifted voices that resemble a squad of heavenly chipmunks harmonizing over Africa, but once your ears have adjusted, there is a real beauty to be found among the complex and intricate, downtempo works blazoning with lush and worldly spaces.

Chill electronic lanterns and turned percussion pave the way into “Always This Late,” the album’s opener, a sort of ambient progression through dreamy synths and trap-like grooves. The commercial business starts however with “Say My Name,” an EDM-minded jubilee with catchy indie verses that break over into dance-floor pumps and shooting-star synths. Similarly, “All We Need” and “White Lies” play to pop-tuned ears and RnB stylists, while still purring with inarticulate babbles and flourishing with a sense of magicality. Meanwhile tracks like “Bloom” and “Sundara” employ glitchy samples and backwardly looped instrumentals to immerse you back within a lush chillwave haze.

“Kusanagi” serves as the album’s intermission and reiterates some Japanese influences that pepper its tracks. Afterwards, the latter half turns down the ostentatious electronica and focuses on worldly transportations—exploring further the lush environments established in the previous half. Standouts here include “Memories That You Call,” a track that crushes its beats under an intense sound, behind which stir the echoes of international anthems, and “It’s Only,” a groovy lullaby with intimate vocals that skim over beautiful melody with dark lyrics and climaxes with intense rhythms and orgastic cries. If Odesza had added a few more drops of melodic progression amidst their expansive and playful production, their work might stand out more, but as is the album presents a wondrous achievement of sound and soul not to be overlooked.

About author
Christopher Witte is a writer living in Los Angeles, CA, afflicted with an unhealthy obsession for independent genres of music.   Follow: @WittePopPress

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