Published Aug 05, 2020Seattle indie electronic duo ODESZA and Australian producer Golden Features come together seamlessly on their debut record together as BRONSON. Their self-titled record is everything EDM has been missing for the last five years: a wholesome, heartfelt approach to electronic dance music that appeals to emotion before aesthetics.
The collaboration's cinematic entry is underscored by its lead single "Heart Attack," which features the delicate, lush vocals of English singer lau.ra. The melodic approach to this track is especially moving thanks to its coupling with understated percussion, uncommon to the genre. Like the rest of the album, "Heart Attack" doesn't hit hard in the traditional sense — it instead aims to plant roots for the rest of the subtle but self-assured record. In a statement, ODESZA called the track "a turning point in the writing process of the album" that informed the vocal features on their debut. And it's true — many of the tracks that follow lean into their sentimentality, with only a handful of outliers.
That is shown in Gallant-featuring mid-album track "Know Me." ODESZA fans will immediately recognize the duo's signature spacey, groovy tempo. Meanwhile, Golden Features' distinct, tropically-flavoured production shines through its cracks. This is another downtempo highlight from the front half of BRONSON, leading into the album's slightly bolder closing chapter. Things take an aggressive turn with "Tense," an overdrive-adjacent tune reminiscent of Justice's 2007 Cross banger "Stress." The breakdown toward the end of the track is one not to miss.
As far as ODESZA's output goes, this record will satisfy fans in the interim between 2018's A Moment Apart and their next solo release. Golden Features' contributions add a big-tent EDM feel, great for soundtracking the lonesome summer apartment dance parties taking place across the world as we continue to miss out on large-scale festivals affected by COVID-19. The collaboration between the two entities, while, truthfully not nearly a contender for AOTY, marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship that we hope to hear from again in the future. (Ninja Tune)