BRONSON is the lovechild of ODESZA and Golden Features, and their self-titled debut album is here to rescue our minds from the cruel reality of 2020.
Good things come in threes and earlier this year, ODESZA and Golden Features surprised the dance community with the unexpected announcement of the trio’s collaboration project BRONSON. Fans of the artists were stoked to see what they had been cooking up in the studio as ODESZA had taken a hiatus after nearly three years of touring and Golden Features caught the ear of many with his own originals and remixes as well.
When you think about it, the conception of BRONSON isn’t a shocker because the three have been working in synergy for some time. In fact, this collaboration just made sense when you consider ODESZA’s style and Golden Features’ ability to create masterful remixes of their tunes like “Falls” and “Memories That You Can Call.”
Prior to the release of BRONSON, the gents released a handful of singles including “HEART ATTACK” featuring lau.ra, “VAULTS,” “KEEP MOVING,” and “DAWN” featuring Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Needless to say, when you look at the streaming numbers, it’s clear that the general public is digging what these three were putting out. In fact, every single release just made everyone that much more excited for the magic that awaits. Spoiler alert: prepare to be blown away.
Here’s a tip for those who are tuning in for the first time. Listen to BRONSON from start to finish. Do not skip around! The songs fade into each other, so embrace the experience the way it’s intended!
Take a listen to BRONSON on your favorite platform and read on for a more in-depth look at the album.
Stream BRONSON – BRONSON on Spotify:
The album kicks off with “FOUNDATION,” an indescribable arrangement to the experience.
One of the most beautiful natural sounds is that of a heartbeat. It’s an indicator that you’re alive but is soothing as well. And that’s how the opening track on the album begins, a heavy thump that sounds like a heartbeat, a pulse to show you’re still here. It’s a divine way to kick things off for the album’s lead song. As the track begins to build and grows heavy, it sounds like you’re slowly falling into an abyss and the beautifully haunting vocals catch you with open arms.
The climax of the track invokes an overwhelming wave of emotions and goosebumps with the heavy bassline that blares in unison with the distorted voices. The melody is heavy yet soothing, powerful yet gentle. It’s a combination of conflicting elements that don’t belong together but in “FOUNDATION” it makes perfect sense. The last 60 seconds of the song is captivating as the voices gently set your feet on the ground and the doors open to a journey that awaits on the next nine tracks.
“BLINE” breaks down mental chains so your mind can run effortlessly.
There are moments in life where you just want to escape from reality. This is something that we’re all feeling in the current state of the world. Unfortunately, there is no physical place for us to escape to, however “BLINE” holds the key that allows your mind to run free. The start is subtle as the bassline slowly creeps into the forefront and this is where liberation takes place.
The blended vocals sound like a celestial journey, and the melody is the perfect balance of heaviness that triggers your body to move. It’s euphoric. The bridge brings you back to a sense of balance where you can simply vibe with the melody and experience a blissful moment of peace. And that density returns so you can continue to move and get lost in this beautiful entanglement. As the track begins to fade, reality slowly sets back in.
“TENSE” is the juggernaut coming at you full speed and “CALL OUT” is the calm after the storm.
The force of “TENSE” is difficult to ignore. It’s gritty. It’s rough. It’s full of energy. The percussion arrangement is absolutely stunning, and it instantly flows into a mess of a distortion. The bridge is epically beautiful with the vocals on top of everything. “TENSE” is the climax of the entire album. You can feel the tension and drama. This particular song is the interaction that catapults the album into another dimension and is where the turn of events takes place.
As the tension subsides, “CALL OUT” is the moment in which it feels that you can take a breath. The melody is gentle. It’s tranquilizing yet has a retro feel to it. For a brief moment, it feels like you can slowly piece yourself back together from the mayhem of “TENSE.” It’s the song where you can reflect and process what you just experience. The sweetest part about “CALL OUT” is that Mills and Knight are on the vocals! It’s the best part of the song and an unexpected surprise.
But the gentleness doesn’t last very long, as “CONTACT” is full of chaos and distortion.
The moment we feel that we’re finding some sort of peace, mayhem pushes us back ten steps. “CONTACT” is an entanglement of saturation and panic. Even though through the madness, there’s the desire to move and dance. It’s hypnotizing and attractive. There’s something special about the confusion and percussion arrangement, and like most things, the chaos doesn’t last for too long.
“DAWN” featuring Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is the closing moment that spreads hopefulness.
Anything that Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs touches turns into gold and words can’t describe the depth of Orlando Higginbottom’s soothing vocals. The lyrics alone are stunning and full of words of encouragement. We’re all walking through darkness, we’re all living in doubt, and we all want to give up. But this song takes hold of all those emotions and wraps itself around you. This is the power of music.
“DAWN” couldn’t have come at a better time because we can all use some hope right now. You can tell that track placement was crucial in the process, and ending the journey with this track was the perfect decision. The opening track “FOUNDATION” opens the gate to this indescribable experience and “DAWN” brings us home. It’s the song that feels like the epic exhale we’re all waiting for right now. An exhale that is getting rid of all the negativity, the hardships, and mayhem that we’re all carrying around. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to close out the album. It’s by far the most impactful song off BRONSON.
In closing, BRONSON exceeds every expectation with their debut album.
Nothing compares to a work of art that is vulnerable and honest. The authenticity of this project radiates throughout the entire album. You can feel all the emotion that Mills, Knight, and Stell invested in this project. Collectively they created a masterpiece, something that listeners will appreciate. It’s more than music. It’s something that will live on for years to come. I can only imagine what a live show would look and feel like.
I’ll leave you with some words of advice, give yourself some time to process the emotional journey that BRONSON takes you on. And congratulations on a beautiful album guys.
BRONSON – BRONSON – Tracklist:
- HEART ATTACK (feat. lau.ra)
- KNOW ME (feat. Gallant)
- CALL OUT
- KEEP MOVING
- DAWN (feat. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs)