Scott Hansen has been gradually expanding on the beautifully constructed techno he's been making as Tycho for over a decade now. With the addition of full-fledged band members bassist and guitarist Zac Brown and drummer Rory O'Connor around the time of 2014's Awake, he began pushing his sound beyond the limitations of conventional electronic music to explore new possibilities. You could argue his transition peaked on 2016's Epoch, but on his newest album Weather, Tycho continues expanding and refining his sound, dipping into even more sublime headspaces in the process.
Throughout the 2010s Tycho have been slowly but surely establishing themselves at the forefront of the contemporary ambient scene, with lush sound design and structures that strike the balance of being minimal and engaging. This newest album is their first under new label Mom+Pop, and disrupts the winning formula with multiple vocal appearances from Saint Sinner. This decision has somewhat mixed results: Skate represents an interesting new development for Tycho, stripping back to just guitar and Saint Sinner's breathy yet pleasing lyrics ("Yeah we could skate all day and all night long / oh we're flying now, not gonna let you down") while Pink & Blue grooves along nicely with its catchy hook and expansive sound palette.
Since evolving from a Boards of Canada-inspired solo project to a full-fledged touring band around 2010, Tycho has perfected an instantly recognizable form of instrumental electronic pop music with strong beats, ringing guitars, and stirring melodies. With fifth album Weather, Scott Hansen distills the signature Tycho sound into the most accessible it's ever been, keeping all the songs around three or four minutes each and adding lyrics for the first time. Hannah Cottrell (aka Saint Sinner) essentially becomes Tycho's frontwoman, singing the majority of Weather's eight songs, and the album benefits from this cohesion, as opposed to being a patchwork featuring several varying guests.
Dive. A command, a principle of summer, and a word that recalls none other than Tycho's second studio album. While he's most known for that 2012 album you probably came across on the sidebar of Youtube and fell in love with, Tycho's Scott Hansen has been making music like this for the better part of a decade. It's been three years since Tycho has refreshed us with (truly) new music, and this year's comeback is nothing short of a surprise.