Two sons of the Pacific Northwest, the electronic duo ODESZA, are returning to their roots this week after traveling the world on the backs of their beats and their second studio album “In Return.”
Already selling out two shows at Seattle’s Showbox, they added a third, after party show, at Neumos, which sold out almost as quickly.
While the world spotlight has been kind to the duo, garnering the attention of hip-hop legends the WuTang Clan, it wasn’t too long ago the twenty-somethings were just two guys in a basement putting tracks together.
Clayton Knight, (a.k.a. BeachesBeaches) of Bainbridge Island, and Harrison Mills, (a.k.a. CatacombKid) of Bellevue, met in Bellingham while attending Western Washington University through a mutual friend that knew of each’s work.
While Knight’s bubbly dance beats and Mills’ melancholy R&B mixes seemed distant, once the two starting working together the pieces fell into place.
Their first release, “Summer’s Gone” had two tracks — “How Did I Get Here” and “iPlayYouListen” — instantly leap to number one on several electronic music Internet sites making them an underground sensation.
“It was always sort of a hobby,” Knight said. “At first it was just something to do after class. Our studio was basically the basement of the house on High Street.”
But as graduation loomed for both, Knight, a physics major planning on attending the University of Washington to get his master’s in biology, and Harrison, a design major, set to land a job at a Seattle-based firm, the question was whether they could take the next step and make their passions into a career.
At the crossroads, Knight and Mills decided it was then or never.”It was a gamble,” Knight said. “We figured we were young and if we were going to do something that risky now was the time. The water was warm and we could always go back to what else we were doing, so we just dove it.”
A world tour, dozens of sold-out shows, and two highly successful albums with a third currently in the works, the choice has certainly paid off.
“When we first started our sounds were fairly different,” Knight said. “But people loved it, and as we’ve made music over the years our styles have combined and we’re making a lot more similar sounds. We’ve learned a lot about what music we like. At the beginning it was more about sampling music and now we’re evolving into writing more of our music.”
The past six weeks ODESZA, their crew, and the two opening acts, Ambassadeurs and Hayden James have travelled the U.S., non-stop. The entire group will take off for its European tour next month, but little of the experiences have yet to set in for Knight and Mills.
“We’re doing so many shows it hasn’t really hit me yet,” Knight said. “It’s all pretty surreal.”
Josh Stilts: 425-453-4290; email@example.com