The secret’s out. Golden Features AKA. Tom Stell has joined forces with ODESZA to form a new act called BRONSON. The two artists took to Twitter earlier this year to announce that they had completed an entire album together and since then they have unleashed songs HEART ATTACK with lau.ra, VAULTS, DAWN and today, KEEP MOVING.
They’re not detouring away from the electronic world but this is a different sound for both of them. It combines Golden Features’ penchant for dark mystery with ODESZA’s sprawling soundscapes. HEART ATTACK turns the dial up on both of those things, giving us something that somehow manages to be both melancholic and euphoric. It’s a gigantic track that takes you right to the brink and then pulls back for a pulsating chorus.
For those who keenly zoomed in on the credits of Stell’s debut album SECT, this collaboration won’t come as a complete surprise. ODESZA’s Harrison Mills lent a hand to Runner and Everything on the album but those tracks were unmistakeably Stell’s moments. For Bronson, they’ve crafted a new sound from scratch.
The work for Bronson started once Stell had finished up work on SECT. The trio of producers had previously bonded the 2016 Groovin The Moo circuit but they made concrete plans to work together after ODESZA played Laneway in 2018. After the festival had wrapped, they rented a house in Berry, NSW with no aim in mind.
After months of sharing beats via Dropbox and FaceTime, they finally got to work on the material in person and it came together quickly. They gave the project a working title of Bronson, inspired by the first movie they had watched on the property together.
Two years later, no doubt after plenty more online filesharing, the project has come together. In that time, Stell has released his debut album SECT and ODESZA have played the biggest festivals around the globe including a coveted main-stage slot at Coachella.
Through all that the Bronson project has been steadily come together, sonically driven by VAULT. According to the trio, it was one of the first instrumentals and it, "acted as a cornerstone to the overall sound design and aesthetic of the album."
The track really proved a departure from each artist's own respective styles and set a definitive change in direction for the BRONSON project. We knew we had something special here and it served as a guiding light for the rest of the record," they said in a press release.
On the other hand, HEART ATTACK was the first vocal track they worked on and was a song that came together effortlessly. "It was one of those ideas that came together really quickly and felt very natural while writing with lau.ra," they said.
"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.”
Stell hasn't always been a collaborator. While his early projects heavily featured vocalists, SECT was worked on almost entirely by himself. Late last year, however, he released Raka - a four-track EP with Australian dance royalty The Presets. It was his first official collaborative project.
Raka saw his sound collide with the raucousness of The Presets and Bronson sees him offer a new dimension once again. ODESZA, on the other hand, have a highly collaborative approach to writing music. Their last album featured the likes of Leon Bridges, Mansionair and Regina Spektor while they also run their own label Foreign Family Collective.
Aside from the album being a collaboration in itself, there are a number of guests joining along the way. There is, of course, lau.ra on the first single plus appearances from Gallant and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Even ODESZA's Harrison and Tom make a rare vocal appearance.
All will be revealed on 17th July but for now sink into HEART ATTACK and VAULTS - two songs that hint at the different sides of the record. Check out the full tracklist below.