MUSIC BOX: ODESZA thumps TGR; Rowdy Foxes at Tav

By on September 10, 2014
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Photo: Tonje Thilesen

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – When Harrison Mills (a.k.a. CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (a.k.a. BeachesBeaches) graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham in 2012, it was unfathomable that in the near future they would be performing as ODESZA, an electronic duo, at festival stages like Sasquatch and selling out theaters on both coasts. That was just two years ago, days before the friends headed into Knight’s home studio and cut ODESZA’s first EP in 2012, Summer’s Gone, which was followed by the 2013 EP, My Friends Never Die.

The last year and a half has found ODESZA in a world of non-manufactured media exposure and outrageous play counts, a momentum that went through the roof after opening for Pretty Lights’s “Analog Future Tour” in the fall of 2013.

“When this whole thing started, it was a hobby,” Knight said. “We had the summer to mess around in my basement studio, putting some tracks together, and really didn’t have any expectations for it. We put it out, it caught attention, and then we had to figure out how to adapt the album for a live setting. Once you’re in a live setting, you want more people to dance and keep the energy up, and after going to a number of electronic shows, we wanted to adapt our show towards that and ebb and flow between soft sounds to big drops and trying to accentuate that tension and release.”

ODESZA’s new release, In Return, dropped last week and it incorporates live vocal performances (as opposed to sampled vocals), including up and coming artists from the Washington area such as Jenni Potts and Portland’s Shy Girls. ODESZA’s live show incorporates triggered drums and percussion via SPD sampling pads over manufactured tracks utilizing Ableton, and vocals are sampled as well. This differs from their composing and producing process, in which they utilize Logic and Machine.

“I’ve always been a big fan of pop music, and we wanted to try something new by recording different vocalists,” Knight said. “We’ve been a sucker for pretty female vocals, so we stuck with what we love.”

Playing for Teton Gravity Research’s world premiere of Almost Ablaze begs the question: Does ODESZA like to ski and/or snowboard?

“We did,” Knight laughed. “During college I liked skiiing at Mt. Baker, but that has taken a backseat to production.”

TGR’s Almost Ablaze after party with ODESZA, 9:30 p.m., Saturday at Mangy Moose in Teton Village (21+). $25. Film shows at 8 p.m., Saturday, outside in the South Village lot. All profits benefit local charities. TetonGravity.com. 

Editor’s note: As of press time, tickets for the after party had sold out and the folks at TGR anticipate the premiere will, too. 

Rowdy Foxes at Tavern

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Photo: Mike Rosati

Dirty, raucous blues and razor sharp, unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll is what you’ll get with San Francisco’s Stone Foxes. Bringing the edge and vocal delay of The Black Keys with subjects of sex, violence, murders and filter-less testimony, the amps will be pushed to their brink and so will the energy. The band has released four albums, the latest being 2013’s Small Fires, which contains an ample dose of foot-stomping heaviness. Led by brothers Shannon Koehler (drums, harp, vocals) and Spence Koehler (lead guitar, vocals), the band has grown from a quartet to a six-piece as they roll into Jackson for their debut show.

The Stone Foxes, 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at Town Square Tavern. 733-3886.


About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

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