First Weekend June 22 - June 25
An epoch is defined as an extended period of time typically characterized by a distinctive development or by a memorable series of events, and Scott Hansen, leader of the band Tycho, has named their new album Epoch (Ghostly International) with that in mind. The last installment in a trilogy, Epoch is the culmination of more than a decade’s work that has seen the band evolving and maturing through two sublime releases Dive (2011) and Awake (2014), and developing from featuring Hansen as a delicate solo performer into the iconic frontman of a powerful multi-layered live band performing on the world’s largest stages.
“Dive was where the whole thing crystallized,” said Hansen. “I found that crossover space between what I was doing before, which was more IDM electronic stuff, and the rock music that reflected more of what I was listening to and not necessarily what I was making. Awake was a prototype of pushing it as far into the rock realm as I was comfortable with. Epoch is basically coming full circle. All the lessons of Dive and Awake were applied and then expanded upon.”
Epoch leverages the sonic aesthetic of Dive’s down-tempo vintage-style synthesizers and beautiful melodies while drawing on the kinetic energy of Awake’s progressive composition and organic instrumentation. “I felt like I explored a lot of open-ended unbridled, optimistic spaces with the other records. I don’t know if it’s a reflection of my life, but it seemed like that’s what just came out at the time.” For the new record, the themes felt a bit darker as he explored new musical territory.
Hansen initially attempted a more traditional recording process at Panoramic Studios in Stinson Beach, CA, but ultimately opted to do the majority of the recording in his home studio in Berkeley following a temporary relocation from his home in San Francisco.
Once complete, it was important to Hansen to release Epoch as a surprise album. “I’ve never been fond of handing in an album then waiting 4 months for it to be released,” he said. “I wanted to be more connected to the people consuming the music. There is a kind of visceral fulfillment you get from sharing something that you’ve just created with other people. That’s a very satisfying feeling as an artist.
Epoch was arranged alongside Zac Brown, a long time collaborator and partner in the Tycho project. Brown contributed bass and guitar parts to the songwriting process, while Rory O’Connor played drums. O’Connor was brought in during the Dive tour cycle. Hansen has known Brown since their Sacramento upbringing.
Hansen sees Epoch as a multi-dimensional artistic vision at the confluence of his graphic design work via ISO50 and music with Tycho. The graphic presentation of the album artwork is as important as the music itself. The keystone is the central image of Epoch and the colour scheme red and black. This is a stark contrast to the almost rainbow palette of Awake.
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