A Look At ODESZA’s Solo Projects Before They Were ODESZA

Odesza Press Shot Editorial

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you are a fan if not at least aware of ODESZA. The duo began producing together after meeting at Western Washington University and according to their website bio, they had instant chemistry. They’ve said that combining forces allowed them to “quickly carve out a distinctive, heady sound,” and with new music possibly on the way on April 25th, we thought we’d take a trip way back in time and find out just where these “glitched-out vocals, soaring visceral melodies and ear-gripping drums” started.

Before they were ODESZA, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight were cultivating their own sounds under the names CatacombKid (Harrison) and BeachesBeaches (Clay). Upon listening back and hearing each of their separate production styles from 4+ years ago, we’ve realized that the essential aesthetic behind ODESZA’s music is present yet lacking in both projects.  

As a standalone project, CatacombKid embodies a slow and progressive sound categorized by gentle vocal chops and soft soundscapes that can be heard in most of his singles such as “How It Ends”:

A super interesting aspect of CatacombKid is his use of vintage vocal samples, specifically his sampling of Aldous Huxley’s 1956  "Brave New World" radio narration which he uses in the song “Wander”. (sample here)

The production in this song is surprisingly similar to the intro on ODESZA’s debut album, Summer’s Gone, which uses a sample from a 1957 Donald McWhinnie radio broadcast. (sample here)

On the other hand, BeachesBeaches combines lo-fi samples with high energy drums and percussion, creating a fresh melodic take on an old school sound:

It’s incredible how much you can hear ODESZA in each project, yet they both seem so unfinished and raw compared to the sound that they built together. And although funnily enough, both Harrison and Clay took it upon themselves to individually remix The Beach Boys...

...both projects have three main similarities: 

  1. They both heavily use vintage and vinyl samples (break-beats and tape crackle).
  2. They each have very similar and distinctive vocal chopping methods.
  3. Both CatacombKid and BeachesBeaches use euphoric and atmospheric sounds throughout their songs.

Watching ODESZA develop into the immense musical presence they’ve become has been an absolute treat. Although their sound has been constantly evolving and improving over the past few years, all three of the aforementioned similarities provide the backbone to ODESZA’s signature production style and can be heard throughout the entirety of their discography:

From their 2012 debut album Summer’s Gone.

From their 2013 EP My Friends Never Die.

From their 2014 album In Return.

As we patiently await more news, we can only hope that new music from the duo we’ve grown to love is on the way! Until then, here's 22 ODESZA songs to hold you over. Enjoy!

Kendrick Lamar’s New Album Is About To Be His Hardest Yet

Kendrick Lamar Album Hard

With Kendrick Lamar’s highly-anticipated forthcoming album expected April 7, our excitement is at an all time high. We can’t stop listening to his new single “The Heart Part 4” and are curiously wondering what we can expect from his next project as more clues come together on what the LP might sound like.

Update: Kendrick dropped a new song "HUMBLE." and it goes hard...

Kendrick’s collaborator Syk Sense has given us a little insight to what we might expect to hear come April 7. Syk Sense was one of the four producers involved with “The Heart Part 4” and has joined podcaster EricTheYoungGawd for an interview saying the beats on the project are “some of the hardest shit I ever heard” and "it's not like that jazzy sound you would think.” He also mentioned it's similar to what we heard on "Untitled 07" off untitled unmastered.

"I got homies who produced on there that produced some crazy shit, I'm talking about big. It's some of the hardest shit I ever heard. And the fact that it's connected to Kendrick as well makes it that much better. I haven't heard the songs he did with the beats, but I've heard the beats. We've got some pretty heavy new guys on here that's really going to make for themselves off these beats"...“It’s I would say like uhh, fucking that hard shit. It’s not like the jazzy sound you would think. It’s like fucking Memphis, fucking like… I don’t know what to call it. It’s L.A., it’s Memphis.”  - Syk Sense

We can’t wait to hear what the LP sounds like. On “The Heart Part 4” one thing is apparent: Kendrick is angry. This is a scary thought for other rappers as he calls himself the greatest rapper alive and will likely aim to hold onto that claim with bars on the new album. He also recently called himself the greatest rapper alive on his collaboration with Isaiah Rashad, so it seems like he feels he has something to prove. This has us thinking he doesn't hold back on the new project.

On his new single, Kendrick also calls out other rappers, most likely Big Sean or Drake, with lines like “My fans can’t wait for me to son ya punk ass and crush ya whole lil’ shit / I’ll Big Pun ya punk ass you a scared lil’ bitch / Tiptoeing’ around my name n*gga you lame / And when I get at you homie don’t you just tell me you was just playin” and “ho, Jay-Z Hall of Fame, sit yo punk ass down”. Drake has compared himself to Jay-Z in the past and Kdot gives him this reminder that Jay-Z was inducted into the songwriting hall of fame. 

Another set of lines likely taking shots at Drake: “Tables turned, lesson learned, my best look / You jumped sides on me, now you ‘bout to meet Westbrook / Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you / Just know the next game played, I might slap the shit out you.” With Drake’s frequent admiration for Kevin Durant, it’s looking like Kendrick is calling him out with these lines comparing himself to Russell Westbrook after Durant switched teams on him. Not to mention Kendrick dropped this loose single just days after Drake's More Life playlist stealing some of his thunder.

Kendrick clearly has a chip on his shoulder and is aiming to make a statement. In the new track, Kendrick also mentions his last two albums being classics and says “my next album, the whole industry on the ice pack / with TOC, you see the flames in my e-y-e’s; it’s not a game”. Sounds like he has some heat ready for us.

Kendrick previously told The NY Times the project was “very urgent” and he's moved on from TPAB:

“I think now, how wayward things have gone within the past few months, my focus is ultimately going back to my community and the other communities around the world where they’re doing the groundwork. ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ was addressing the problem. I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore,” - Kendrick

Each project Kendrick has released moves his sound forward as he continues to experiment on each release. While we don’t know what’s in store for us on April 7, we feel it’s safe to say it will be a different sound from 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly. We absolutely love TPAB, but the thought of Kendrick going in over some hard beats just has us too excited. The hype is at an all time high with little known about the project so we’re all just going to have to wait and see what’s next. Enjoy! 

Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 4 | Stream Only

Photo credit: Paola Kudacki for GQ

Listen To Chance The Rapper’s Top 50 Guest Verses

Chance The Rapper Guest Verses

Chance The Rapper has gained a massive, dedicated fanbase that helped his debut festival break the attendance record at the White Sox’s US Cellular field. He went on to win three Grammys after leading a charge for the awards show to allow free releases to be nominated. While his incredibly cohesive projects are what helped him win over his dedicated fanbase, the young Chicago rapper’s catalog extends beyond the three “mixtapes” he’s released for free. 

Chance shows up in a big way on every featured verse. While some of his guest features are straightforward, he takes the opportunity to experiment with his sound on others. He’s racked up over 70 guest features already in his career, so we’ve taken the time to go through and pick out top 50 from the pack. Enjoy! 

Ultralight Beam - Kanye West

This was a career-defining moment for Chance. He finally collaborated with his idol Kanye and stole the show. He showed up for arguably his best verse of all time and you can feel his excitement of appearing on the opening track off Kanye’s album. This appeared on The Life Of Pablo that dropped in Feb. 2016. Chance comes in at 2:35. 

Show me love - Hundred Waters / Skrillex

When Skrillex decided to remix Hundred Waters “Show Me Love” he couldn’t have found a better fit for a feature than Chance. His energy carries the song as his verse walks the line between rapping and singing adding even more soul to uplifting tune. This track was a Skrillex remix of OWSLA artists Hundred Water where they grabbed new contributions from Chance in March 2016. Chance comes in at 1:43.

Snakehips - All My Friends

“All My Friends” is perhaps the most pop-leaning track Chance has appeared on, and he shows a natural tendency to shine in this vein. His memorable lyrics and catchy vocal melody are a standout on Snakehips’ biggest track to date. This was Snakehips breakout song and has racked up an insane number of streams since Oct. 2015. Chance comes in at 1:20.

James Blake - Life Round Here

James Blake adding Chance to “Life Round Here” was an incredible surprise. Chance slowly eases into his verse, almost sounding confused before the drums kick in, and then really goes in. The swaggy rhyming pattern adds a new curious vibe to the track as the two end up doing a sort of duet that just works perfect. This loose remix came in March 2014 following Blake's Overgrown album. Chance offers vocals throughout and delivers his verse at 1:44

Kehlani - The Way

Chance switches up his sound on “The Way” with a slow, crawling verse that changes his flow around on the soulful tune. Kehlani finds the perfect compliment to her sexy single by grabbing this unique feature that appeared on Kehlani's You Should Be Here album in 2015. Chance comes in at 1:30.

Lil Wayne - You Song

Chance’s fun wordplay is at an all time high here. His unconventional flow and vocal inflections are highlights on the incredible collaboration. This came on Wayne's Dedication 5 Mixtape in 2013. Chance kicks off the song with his verse at 0:35.

Towkio - Heaven Only Knows

Towkio is one of the many artists I’ve discovered from a Chance The Rapper co-sign. When the Lido-produced beat kicks in, Chance goes double time and does it so well. He brings his soulful touch as always and impressed us once again. This was a single off Towkio's .Wav Theory project from April 2015. Chance comes in at 2:02.

Big Sean - Living Single

Along with Jeremih, Chance made a guest appearance on Big Sean’s loose single “Living Single”. Chance fits the soulful instrumental as he kicks off his verse singing and continues to deliver a verse in his raspy voice . An early version of the track with Smino leaked during the summer and later got an official release at the end of 2016. Chance comes in at 1:35.

BJ The Chicago Kid - Church

One of Chance’s most soulful appearances. Here he sings a gospel-inspired verse in his hybrid style of singing and rapping on this pleasant verse only Chance could deliver. This appeared in Aug. 2015 as a single off BJ's debut album In My Mind. Chance comes in at 3:04.

Joey Purp - Girls @

The standout track off Joey Purp’s debut album brings one of Chance's more joyous and funny features about looking for girls. His bouncing singing and rapping is as funny as it is catchy as he skips along the thumping beat. This was released in May 2016 as a single off Joey's iiiDrops project. Chance comes in a 1:20.

Action Bronson - Baby Blue

Chance delivers some hilariously witty lines wishing that all these ridiculous bad things happen to whoever the song is directed to. We hear him in a comical, but still half serious tone on this collab. This was a single off Bronson's Mr. Wonderful album in March 2015. Chance comes in at 2:44.

Vic Mensa - Tweakin'

Chance has more history with Vic than probably any other artist besides maybe Nico Segal (Donnie Trumpet). Chance hopped on "Tweakin’" off Vic’s breakout mixtape Innanetape that dropped in Sep. 2014. You can really hear how much fun they had making this collab. Chance’s nonsensical raps and strange rhyming pattern makes for one of his best features to date. Chance Comes in at 2:24.

Childish Gambino - They Don’t Like Me

Chance went on tour supporting Childish Gambino in 2012 and the two actually worked on a joint project they’ve been teasing ever since. Chance fully showcases his weird, whiney voice before changing his vocal inflections a few times putting his diverse skill set to its full potential. This appeared on Gambino's July 2012 Mixtape Royalty. Chance comes in a 0:26.

Busta Rhymes - Hello

Hip-hop legend Busta Rhymes grabbed Chance for a joint freestyle over the classic beat for Luniz's "I Got 5 On It". Chance delivers a pretty straightforward verse in which he really displays his rapping skills going in for over two minutes holding his own on the track alongside one of hip-hop’s legends. This appeared on Busta's The Return Of The Dragon: The Abstract Went On Vacation mixtape in Dec. 2015. Chance kicks off the song at 0:16. 

SZA - Childs Play

It doesn’t get much more downtempo and dreamy than XXYYXX’s beat used for SZA’s “Child’s Play”. SZA’s airy vocals get paired with a slow, calculated verse from Chance, who puts full use to his diverse vocal abilities singing alongside SZA after he finishes rapping. This was a single off SZA's 2014 album Z. Chance comes in at 1:45.

Odd Couple - Bombay State of Mind

Chance joined fellow Chicagoans for a show-stealing verse. One of Chance’s more soulful rapping appears on “Bombay State Of Mind” with his infectious melodies that will be stuck in your head for hours. The track was a single off Odd Couple's Separated at Birth EP from 2012. Chance comes in at 2:50. 

Probcause - Three Course Meal

Chance really shows up in a big way on “Three Course Meal”. He sounds like he’s almost yelling his raps as he forcefully makes his presence known by just going in rapping over the more experimental beat. This was a part of Probcause's The Recipe Vol. 2 mixtape in 2013. Chance comes in at 1:40.

Donnie Trumpet - Sunday Candy

The standout track on Donnie Trumpet’s debut album Surf. Chance appears multiple times throughout the song carrying an emotional tone and high energy on the soulful tune. This dropped in Nov 2014 ahead of Donnie's Surf album. Chance starts off the song at 0:15 and has a couple verses.

Sup BWE - Fool Wit It Freestyle

“Fool Wit It Freestyle” sounds like it could be a Chance The Rapper song instead of a guest appearance. He kicks off the song and finishes it with some of his most infectious rapping melodies we’ve heard from him. This song is slept on and is truly an enjoyable tune from start to finish. This single dropped July 2016. Chance comes in at 0:12.

Rhapsody - Lonely Thoughts

Chance appears for a patient verse shortly after releasing Acid Rap, and his sound on this feature finds a similar sound to his breakout mixtape. His scatterbrained lyrics and skittering flows are both funny and intriguing. This appeared on Rhapsody's She Got Game mixtape in 2013. Chance comes in at 3:04.

G Herbo - Fight or Flight

Here Chance reflects on being raised in his beloved hometown. He delivers a solid verse focusing on the lyrics alongside his fellow Chicagoans G Herbo and Common. The original track was just G Herbo but he did a remix in Aug. 2014 with Chance and Common. Chance comes in at 2:20.

Joey Badass - Wendy & Becky

Joey and Chance collaborated years ago when they were both some of the youngest, most promising rappers on the rise. "Wendy and Becky" is a reference to each rapper’s hometown of Chicago and Brooklyn. Chance’s uncanny flows finds a way to get the most out of the somber boom-bap beat and has us hoping these two will link up again down the road. This was a loose Joey Bada$$ single released in Feb 2013. Chance comes in at 2:19.

Nosaj Thing - Cold Stares

This is probably Chance’s most somber verse yet. He almost sounds sad over the minimalist beat with his soft-spoken raps that fits the song’s vibe perfectly. Nosaj Thing released this as a single off his Fated album in March 2014. Chance comes in at 1:02. 

John Legend - Penthouse Floor 

Chance shows off his versatility and ability to appeal to a wide audience on his collaboration alongside John Legend. He kicks off his verse with a knock-knock joke and skips along the funky instrumental. The track appeared as a single on Legend’s late 2016 album Darkness and Light. Chance comes in at 2:45.

Ego Jaleel - Ridin Round

One of Chance’s more ignorant raps. He goes over the trap beat packing his verse full vocal inflections and his signature "IGH" ad-libs going in with some of his hardest rapping to date. This was released June, 2012. Chance comes in at 2:00.

Brian Fresco - Steamer

Chance opens up the track with a strong verse that's delivered in more of his talking voice that sounds different from what he typically sounds like while rapping. As his verse progresses, he gets more on beat as he expertly switches up his flows until he passes off the mic to his right-hand man, Vic Mensa. This came in May 2013 off Fresco's Mafioso tapeChance starts off the song with his verse.

Milo & Otis - Lift Up

Chance is featured throughout most of the track on “Lift Up” singing in a mellow, soulful fashion without rapping. This is one of those songs that shows how versatile of an artist Chance really is. For those of you familiar with the bass producer duo Milo & Otis, this is a different group. This Chicago-based duo is actually Owen Hill and Jamila Woods, who broke out last year as a solo soul artist and had a Chance feature on her debut album and was featured on his "Sunday Candy" and "Blessings" tracks. This was a single off Milo & Otis' debut album The Joy in 2012. Chance comes in at 0:40. 

Mapei - Don’t Wait

The soulful R&B track had Chance start his verse out in a part that didn’t have drums while he layed down smooth melodies allowing the drums to catch up and ride out his verse. This was released as part of a remix package of the original track in 2014. Chance comes in at 1:23. 

Mick Jenkins - Crossroads

Chance delivers some of his slowest rapping yet on “Crossroads”. He joined his fellow Chicagoan Mick Jenkins for his interesting verse that shows a more laid-back style of rapping. This single came in July 2013. Chance comes in at 1:29.

Probcause - LSD

Chance kicks off his verse with some unconventional flow until the beat kicks in full gear, where he gets back on beat and delivers an uplifting verse. This single dropped July 2013. Chance comes in at 2:29.

Chuck Inglish - Glam

Chuck Inglish grabbed Chance for a verse in his signature sound that brings just the edge of soul the song needed to go with the trumpet-highlighted production. This 2014 single came off Chuck's album ConvertiblesChance comes in at 1:37.

Gaines FM - We Are

Chance shines on “We Are” as we hear him further progress his skills of packing a single verse with multiple rhyming patterns and flows atop the chill, trappy production. This was a 2013 single off Gaines' Night Crawler Reloaded project. Chance comes in at 2:12.

Vic Spencer - Out The Water

“Out Of Water” finds slowly delivered, silly rhymes increasing in energy until abruptly switching to a singing section. He utilized the production in multiple different ways while staying in pocket the whole time. This dropped in Jan 2012. Chance comes in at 1:05.

Sir Michael Rocks - Too Late

The soulful beat sets the stage for Chance to hold down the hook while also killing his verse changing his tempo throughout. This was part of Rocks' 2012 mixtape Lap Of Lux 1.5. Chance comes in at 0:16 and his verse appears 0:48. 

2OD - Make A Hit

One of Chance’s more unique choices of production. While the beat sounds like it would work best with fast flows, he kicks off the verse with slow spurts finding an unconventional groove. This track was recorded in 2012 but never saw an official release and was leaked by the producer King Kito in 2015. Chance comes in at 3:49.

Brian Fresco - She’s The Type

This fun Chance feature is similar to "Baby Blue" with Action Bronson in that he his flow is done around a list describing a type of girl. He's having fun on this one and once again sounds great. This was part of Fresco's 2013 mixtape Mafioso, which had a couple Chance features. Chance comes in at 1:45.

Taylor Bennett - Grown Up Fairy Tales

Chance recently joined his younger brother Taylor on a this collaboration, but Chance's verse was actually recorded years ago before giving his brother this track for his new project. Chance kicks off the Mike Will-produced, piano based track as Chance delivers his choppy, calming flows.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Need To Know

Chance stole the show on his collaboration with Macklemore. He honestly made the song, focusing on his lyrical delivery reflecting on his quick rise. This was part of Macklemore's sophomore album, This Unruly Mess I've Made in Feb. 2016. Chance comes in about a third of the way in. 


Lorine Chia - Living In Vein

The song’s soulful, chilled beat gives Chance a airy platform for him to deliver a lyrical guest appearance full of soul in his signature, hybrid style of singing and rapping. Chance comes in at 1:13/ 

Jamila Woods - LSD

It's only fitting to grab a Chance feature on a song about Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. He he impresses once again on his soft-spoken verse bouncing atop the slow-rolling production on the soul song. The two artists have collaborated in the past and showed their chemistry on their last joint effort. Chance comes in at 1:43.

Skrillex - Coast Is Clear

Chance kicks off the song with R&B styled vocals while the beat kicks into double time for Chance have fun atop. This is one of the best displays of Chance’s falsetto vocals. Chance comes in at 0:13 and appears throughout. 

Kids These Days - Wasting Time

This song doesn’t even sound like a hip-hop track, which really shows the versatility Chance has as an artist. He really brings the soul on his appearance atop the minimalist production alongside Nico Segal (Donnie Trumpet) and their high school band Kids These days. Chance comes in at 1:18.

Jeremih - Planes Remix

Jeremih and Chance has undeniable chemistry. Here Chance slowly eases into his verse that has Chance all over the place surprising us in the direction he takes for each line he switches things up from the last. The original track featured J Cole and Chance later delivered this version with production by Lido and the Social Experiment taking a more experimental approach to the song and was released April 2015. Chance comes in at 2:42.

Donnie Trumpet - Zion

One of Chance’s more unique appearances. He kicks it off with channeling reggae-styled island inspired singing before handing things off to Vic Mensa atop Donnie Trumpet’s more experimental beat. Chance come in at 0:26.

Vic Mensa - Suitcase

Chance kicks off Vic Mensa’ collaboration with a choppy verse filled with pauses and changes in tempo. Chance and Vic work so well together and have great history with this being one of their best colabs. The track came as a loose single in Dec 2013. Chance comes in at 0:13.

The O’Mys - Bout a Dolla

One of the most soulful hip-hop tracks Chance the rapper has appeared on. This came early in his career, and he confidently held his own alongside well-established Chicago rappers Chuck Inglish and Twista. The track came as a loose single in Aug. 2012. Chance comes in at 7:20.

Vic Spencer - National Geographical 

Like many of Chance’s guest appearances, he’s teamed up with another Chicago-based rapper Vic Spencer’s “National Geographical”. While Spencer delivers a harsher verse, Chance balances it out with his uplifting tune changing his flows with some always on-point wordplay. They also dropped a video filmed at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. ”National Geographical” came Sep. 2011 on Spencer’s Vic Greenthumbs mixtape. Chance comes in at 1:50.

O’Mys - Wonder Years 

Chance linked up with Chicago soul group O’Mys a couple times, proving to have incredible chemistry with their bluesy sound. The smooth song had chance going over just drums and backing vocals until the instrumental comes in. His gentle rapping fits the tone of the song so well as both Chance and his dad make appearances in the song’s video. This song came on O’My’s 2012 project Chicago Style. Chance comes in at 1:35. 

Sulaiman - Fam and Foolies

Chance sings in an airy style I haven’t really heard on other tracks to start his verse. Then he unexpectedly goes in with his technical rapping skills atop the mellow, atmospheric production. The track was released July 2014 as part of The Mogs EP. Chance starts his verse at 1:22.

Caleb James - Savemoney Cypher

This freestyle has Chance going in for some furious raps on the cypher-styled freestyle that has a posse of Savemoney rappers trading verses. The track was released as part of Caleb James Ground Up mixtape in July 2012. chance Comes in at 1:03. 

Chance The Rapper - Grown Ass Kid 

This track isn't actually a guest feature, it's a Chance song that surfaced after his Coloring Book release. It never saw an official release but is an amazing song. Chance's verse starts around 2:00. Enjoy!

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