Electronic-music duo Odesza, nominated for two Grammys, is looking forward to the awards ceremony Jan. 28, and to a busy year, including March concerts at WaMu Theater and April performances at Coachella.
With its latest two Grammy nominations in tow, the Seattle-based electronic duo Odesza has planted its flag firmly in mainstream-music culture. But what that means for the group — and whether or not the consequences are completely welcome — is yet to be seen.
For a duo that’s historically spent much of its time between funky backstage green rooms and worn-down basements, the wash of newfound glitz and glamour might not be as comfortable as it sounds to other established or aspiring bands. But Odesza will be right in the thick of it come Jan. 28 during the 60th Grammy Awards.
“It is overwhelming,” said Harrison Mills, one half of Odesza. “It’s such a clear thing that people notice and feel proud about. But it’s not really in our bubble.”
In fact, both Mills and co-founding member, Clayton Knight, were fast asleep the morning the nominations were released. “Who knows if you have a chance,” recalled Knight. “I slept in and woke up to about 30 missed calls. I thought there was a horrible accident or something!” But, as he found out, there was no accident — just more national exposure.
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Now, amid a 31-date, eight-month international tour that began in December and runs through the summer, Odesza finds itself smack in the middle of Grammy season after the September release of its latest LP, “A Moment Apart.” The record debuted at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and when performed live — as the band will do in Seattle March 30 and 31 at WaMu Theater — requires a mighty swath of instrumentation, including drum lines, laptops and guitars. (Come April, Odesza will also be performing at the Coachella music festival.)
The band’s third studio project, “A Moment Apart” earned Grammy nominations for best dance/electronic album and best dance recording (for the song “Line of Sight”), making it Odesza’s biggest commercial success. Featuring standout guest vocal appearances from the gravelly-voiced crooner Leon Bridges and boisterous pop singer Regina Spektor, it exemplifies Odesza’s creative prowess. “It’s a very personal experience,” explained Mills. “The record takes you into your own world.”
Formed in 2012 at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Odesza rose to prominence thanks, in part, to a burgeoning online fan base. Learning cutting-edge computer programs and interacting through sites like SoundCloud, sharing samples and songs, the group amassed tens of millions of streams and thousands of fans. In 2015, the band was nominated for its first Grammy for best remixed recording, non-classical, though it lost to a Dave Audé remix of “Uptown Funk.”
But this year, as Mills and Knight attend the awards show (before leaving the next morning to fly to Australia for another gig), with the chance of winning their first Grammy, friends and family will assuredly be by their sides. It’s those close to the band who enjoy the festivities most, said Mills. “They feel proud of us,” he said, before adding, “We’ve always kept a small group of friends around us. In life, you never really know what’s going to happen. But it’s the people around you that make you who you are.”