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Album Review

The variations within Tycho's music have always been subtle, hovering between ambient introspection and more active synth pop and post-rock elements. On Awake, Scott Hansen breaks the mold a bit, crafting a set of songs with more prominent peaks and valleys than his previous work. He makes this shift known with the album's first two songs, both of which shake off the insular feel of his previous album, Dive, in favor of streamlined guitar pop with most of its rough edges and raw emotions smoothed away. "Awake" foreshadows how large a role chugging and chiming guitars play on the rest of the album; Tycho's signature squiggly analog synths don't surface until the track is almost over. Meanwhile, the lush "Montana" is the closest Hansen has come to delivering an anthem. Later, "Apogee"'s prickly electronics and distorted beats underscore that Awake is something of a departure even in its more familiar-sounding moments. Whenever it feels like Hansen has sacrificed too much of the haunting, affecting qualities of Dive and Past Is Prologue for something more superficially energetic — such as "See"'s laser-guided climax — he tempers Awake with more reflective pieces. "Dye" will reassure longtime fans that he hasn't lost his flair for breezily melancholic atmospheres, while "L"'s prominent beat doesn't detract from the song's gentle liftoff or the way its sparkling keyboards and guitars melt into each other. Despite Awake's flirtations with change, like other Tycho albums it's best appreciated as a whole; moving from bright to serene to brooding, it offers a sunset of moods. As it drifts off in a haze with "Plains"' winsome haze, it feels like the musical equivalent of tasteful graphic design; even as Tycho adds more depth and variety to his sound, his music's main success is giving listeners an attractive backdrop for whatever they might be doing. [Awake was also released on LP.]

Customer Reviews

takes you on a journey.

Soul nudging reminder that something so nice as this album can put a nice smile on your face.


So chill


This album is so easy to listen too. Nothing better than no vocal's and just pure music.


Born: 2002 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Tycho (Scott Hansen) is a producer and artist based in San Francisco, California. While Boards of Canada's blissful/melancholic IDM is an obvious inspiration, many of Tycho's productions play out like complete electronic dream pop songs in isolation rather than vignettes or extended mood pieces. Tycho debuted in 2002 with The Science of Patterns, a self-released four-track EP. Sunrise Projector, his first album, was released in 2004 on the Gammaphone label. After the 2006 album Past Is Prologue,...
Full Bio
Awake, Tycho
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Customer Ratings