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September 2, 2014
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Review: Serene album awakens senses with peaceful instrumentals

"Awake"

Tycho

Comparable to a captivating dream, the ethereal melodies and driving bass of electro-pop artist Scott Hansen, better known as Tycho, ring true to his signature chilled-out style. As the fresh and futuristic tracks unfold, the San Francisco–based artist generates the perfect meditative soundtrack, marrying modern electric philosophy with digital percussion in his newest album, “Awake.”

On the title track “Awake,” the indie soloist begins his album of airy songs with a mellow feel, kick-starting the dreamy album. This tranquil track introduces the listener to the overarching sound of the “Awake” — a colorful, strictly instrumental story that is rife with calming synths and peaceful instrumentals. Despite the absence of lyrics, “Awake” still manages to fully engage the listener with exciting and expressive riffs.

Tycho’s detailed melodies drive the album accompanied by a catchy bass that varies between tracks. He differentiates each song with a change in pace: soothing in “Apogee” and knocking in “Montana.” “Awake” draws its listeners in with its airy and New Age sound, giving listeners a chance to ease a cluttered mind. Tracks including “Plains” sound true to their name, creating a sound and feeling like a vast and untouched space where the listener can escape.

While the album’s lack of lyrics could potentially turn listeners away, Tycho has mastered his style, creating eight quality tracks that deliver a pleasantly dream-like musical venture. Ironically, this album’s name contradicts its distinct dreamy feel, perhaps in Hansen’s attempt to convey his dreams are part of his conscious actions. “Awake” encompasses a different kind of indie-electronic approach, and it serves as another colorful and enticing addition to Tycho’s collection.