'Weather' by Tycho, album review for Northern Transmissions by Adam Fink




You often hear the same complaints levelled against contemporary electronic music. It’s too same-y. It’s too cold. It doesn’t feel “real” enough. Well, for those who feel this way, please direct yourself to the new album, Weather, by acclaimed electronic act Tycho. Tycho is the brainchild of Scott Hansen, a renowned graphic designer in his own right, who has been consistently putting out interesting and danceable records since the early 00s and has only exceeded to make them warmer, more diverse and with the addition of live instrumentation for the 2011 release Dive, more “real”. Weather definitely feels like the culmination of years of evolution and experimentation. Hansen has added, for the first time live vocals to the proceedings, making the record feel like much more of a band than the lark of a bedroom producer.

The album immediately radiates warmth though the lead track “Easy”. With its sharp bass lines, crisp break beats and breathless vocals, the song is such an intriguing and seductive way to start the record and one that draws you in, eager to hear more. “Pink & Blue” kicks off with just the solo vocals of Hannah Cottrell, aka Saint Sinner, paired with a hypnotic, bouncing bassline. When the synth-y strings kick in after the first chorus it’s almost as if Tycho is daring you to stop listening, a feat which, at the time, seems quite impossible. The lead single,“Japan”, follows this up, also featuring the ethereal vocals of Cottrell. The track inspired by some time Hansen spent in Hakone, Japan with his wife’s family, and is meant to inspire the feeling of what it is like in that part of the world and Hansen has definitely succeeded in relating this to the listener, creating a soundscape that evokes what it seems like it would feel like there, whether you have been lucky enough to have had that experience or not.

Throughout the albums eight songs, Tycho creates these beautiful soundscapes that can at times make you want to ponder or make you want to dance, often within the same song. Weather is an album that is perfect for headphones on a rainy day or a dancefloor in the middle of the night. It’s so lushly produced and mixed that, for example, the shimmering guitar parts of “Skate” will remind you of 90’s shoegaze only to be mixed in with a more modern R&B sensibility when Cottrell’s soaring vocal melodies kick in, floating precariously over top of the track. The addition of Cottrell has added a dynamic that was previously missing from the bands oeuvre. That being said, Hansen, bass/guitarist Zak Brown and drummer Rory O’Connor really bring things together, locking in the grooves and enhancing her wandering, easy going vocal melodies.

This is a record that is so rewarding when listening all the way through instead of just to certain tracks. As a whole it creates such a lovely dynamic, more so then when listening to it piecemeal. By the time the album concludes, with title track “Weather” slowly fading out, it feels as if you have gone on a nice little journey with the group. Something, aside from any genre stigma, feels dynamic, full of warmth and very, very real.

review by Adam Fink


21 – Byron Bay, Australia – Splendour In The Grass *
23 – Melbourne, Australia – Forum Melbourne
24 – Sydney, Australia – Sydney Opera House
26 – Niigata Prefecture, Japan – Fuji Rock Festival ’19 *

5 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre **
6 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre #
7 – Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall #
8 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre #
11 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom #
13 – Minneapolis, MN – Palace Theatre #
15 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom #
16 – Toronto, ON – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts #
18 – Boston, MA – Wang Theatre – Boch Center #
19 – New York, NY – Summerstage #
20 – Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall #
21 – Slippery Rock, PA – Resonance Music & Arts Festival *
23 – Detroit, MI – The Masonic #
24 – Columbus, OH – Express Live #
26 – St Louis, MO – The Pageant #
27 – Kansas City, MO – CrossroadsKC #

# # #

9 – Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller #
10 – Stockholm, Sweden – Vasteatern #
11 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega Main Hall #
13 – Hamburg, Germany – Uebel & Gefahrlich #
14 – Cologne, Germany – Live Music Hall #
15 – Paris, France – Elysée Montmartre #
17 – Brussels, Belgium – AB Ballroom @ Ancienne Belgique #
18 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso #
19 – Berlin, Germany – Huxley’s #
21 – Warsaw, Poland – Praga Centrum #
23 – Prague, Czech Republic – Roxy #
24 – Budapest, Hungary – Akvarium #
25 – Vienna, Austria – WUK #
27 – Milan, Italy – Fabrique #
28 – Bologna, Italy – Estragon #

1 – Barcelona, Spain – Sala Apolo #
5 – London, UK – Printworks #

* Festival Performance
** Chrome Sparks
# Poolside


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