Ready for lift-off?
Few acts suit our Moon Music series better than Seattle duo ODESZA. Their rise to prominence and exponential surge to the top of all the right playlists in the last two years could easily be likened to that of NASA’s finest shuttle session.
To celebrate ODESZA’s meteoric rise we’re sending them to the moon with nothing but five albums and an object and a book each. Neither Harrison or Clayton were sure about this invitation at first… They’ve not even been to Europe, let alone the lunar surface.
“Never been in Europe. Even without music,” confirms Harrison. “What do we imagine when we do get to visit Europe? Everyone is sexier and cooler!”
They’re hitting UKF’s stomping ground later this year after another epic jaunt around the US… We’ll let them decide on which territory wins that contest. Something we do know is sexy and cool is their debut album In Return. Delivered by Counter Records, it’s the heady summit of their accomplishments thus far. Spanning silky disco to deep sultry future soul, it’s the duo at their most extensive and explorative.
“It’s us maturing as musicians and trying to put out what we believe what an album should entail,” says Harrison.
“It was put together over a long time. We’ve been updating things as we’ve gone along and constantly developing things,” Clayton continues. “Working with vocalists has really opened our eyes and changed our creative process. Going back and forth to create something that’s as good as it can possibly be. It’s been a long process!”
Such an intense creative endeavour deserves a vacation. In this case, a vacation on the moon. They’re still unsure, though…
“I don’t like heights so I don’t think space would be good to be honest…” states Harrison.
“But the concept is insane!” says Clayton. “We don’t know much about space at all. It’s so vast and deep. It blows your mind thinking about how big it is.”
Such a mind blowing adventure deserves one or two home comforts. In this case, an object and a book each.
Clayton: “I’m really enjoying On The Road by Jack Kerouac right now. It’s highly recommended. But for my moon book I’d return to my guilty pleasure… Game Of Thrones. I started with the TV show and wanted to know more so I got into the books. They give so much information and detail, a must for any fans.”
Harrison: “I’d probably bring A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s one of my favourite books. It’s the last one he wrote before he passed away. He talks about the state of the world from the point of view of a stubborn old man, it’s an awesome perspective. And for my object? I’d bring a grand piano.”
Clayton: “Damn! He stole my idea. Can I take a guitar and a bottle of whiskey?”
We might be ruthlessly shoving DJs on the moon, but we’re not heartless… Clayton’s wish for whiskey is granted. Here are the five albums Odesza will be taking with them, too…
Harrison: “I read somewhere that Thom Yorke wrote Kid-A as a response to hearing Aphex Twin for the first time. He said he was really jealous that Aphex Twin was making the music he wanted to make and he “wasn’t using a fucking guitar”. That was the quote. How cool is that?”
Gorillaz – Gorillaz
Harrison: “This blew me away when I first heard it. It introduced me to hip-hop and I became a huge hip-hop fan for the five years that followed. Obviously the main single was Clint Eastwood with Del The Funky Homosapien rapping on it. That was cool, but it wasn’t my favourite. Tomorrow Comes Today really showed me the beauty of slow haunting singing. It impacted me a lot and got me into the weirder sounds and experimental production from there. I’ll never tire of listening to this… On the moon or anywhere!”
Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
Clayton: “My favourite all time album. 100 per cent moon music material. I discovered this in college. I was getting into beatmaking and was messing around with some beach boys acapellas and fell in love with their harmonies and the overall sound they could create with just their voices. They’re a huge influence in my life; their work is gorgeous and I’ll never tire of listening to it.”
M83 – Saturdays Equal Youth
Clayton: “Such a big influence of mine. I fell in love with these guys in college. They’ve got such a great shoe-gaze vibe and have really distinctive complex textures to their music. We Own The Sky is my favourite track but the whole album changed my life and changed how I listen to music.”
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Harrison: “We’re both massive fans of Animal Collective. I’d say my favourite album, personally, is Feels. But to be honest I love most things they do and would wholeheartedly enjoy anything by them on the moon.”
Clayton: “Merriweather Post Pavilion is definitely my favourite. It’s pop, with those Beach Boys style vocals I was talking about, but it’s got some incredible dark instrumentation.”
Harrison: “And a lot of drone!”
Clayton: “I could listen to this on repeat for ever. It was another album that really changed my whole perspective on music, how I relate to it and how I make it. And I think My Girls is one of the coolest tracks I’ve ever heard.”
ODESZA – In Return is out now on Counter Records.