Over the weekend, Golden Features and ODESZA announced the birth of BRONSON, a joint project forged to unite sounds and give each newfound freedom to explore a new musical identity. Today, the trio delivered the first merits of this collaboration, releasing the singles “HEART ATTACK” and “VAULTS." Together, these songs embody a balance of emotions in sound, which BRONSON plans to expand on with a forthcoming, full-length album this summer.
Since forming in 2012, ODESZA has become acclaimed and beloved for its cinematic take on sound design and production, earning a Grammy nomination for its latest album, A Moment Apart. Golden Features first became associated with the duo when their label, Foreign Family Collective, released his EP (Wolfie / Funeral) in 2016.
Without realizing it, fans were treated to an early taste of BRONSON back in October of 2018 with the release of A Moment Apart (Deluxe Edition). On it, Golden Features' remixed “Falls," which channeled the emotion of ODESZA’s ethereal production into a more dynamic, tense soundscape. While the edgier, dark production isn’t uncharted territory for the Seattle tandem (“Loyal”), the combination of the light and dark emotions definitely created intrigue for listeners.
Unbeknownst to fans, both parties had been collaborating during this time on a bigger project, one that would be deliberately emotive and cathartic. Seeing the need for both in the word, they created a thematic flow of each on their debut album, represented in today's two singles.
“HEART ATTACK,” which features lau.ra (of Ultraísta), plays on lighter emotions. The track—featured on NO.SLEEP - MIX 12—opens with feel-good, warm tones, easily identifiable with most of ODESZA’s catalogue. Over triumphant horns and synths, the vocals sift through dreamily, expressing the want for that “lightning” one gets from connection and love.
“[HEART ATTACK] was the first vocal track we worked on for the record,” said BRONSON via an April 2020 press release. “Ultimately, it was a confluence between the two distinctive sounds of ODESZA and Golden Features. It served as a turning point in the writing process of the album and an inspiration for the other vocal tracks to come.”
While "HEART ATTACK" sonically uplifted the project, “VAULTS” helped spur the dark, dramatic overtones that make up the overall aesthetic of the album. “We knew we had something special [with "VAULTS"]," the trio said. "It served as a guiding light for the rest of the record.” The intro opens with chopped, blissful vocals shrouded amongst gritty drums and basslines. These sounds build in congruence before pulsating, magnetic synths take over at the one minute mark. Rather than emphatically falling into a standard drop, the vocals build and release for an sublime array of synths that are inexplicably emotional to the listener.
This duality theme reflects personal struggles the artists see mirrored in the world around them. Where there is light there is also dark, so in response, they’ve created a project that exudes both.
As mentioned, BRONSON plans to debut this symphonic symbolism in full album form this summer. The self-titled album is due out July 17th, and will boast 10 songs in total. In addition to today’s feature from lau.ra, the album will be bolstered by the talents of Gallant and UK-producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. It will also, for the first time ever, feature vocals from ODESZA's Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight.
Listen to “HEART ATTACK” and “VAULTS” here.