Tycho released the second installment of a two-part album called Simulcast on Friday that brought the instrumental versions of beloved tracks on the previous album Weather. The laidback producer announced the album last month on social media, revealing that the companion to Weather would bring with it new music as well as instrumentals of some of the tracks on the last album.
The arrival of Weather brought with it a new sound for Tycho—a group famous for its peaceful yet transformative sound, often void of vocal accompaniment. With vocals provided mostly by Saint Sinner, the album brought more pop music elements than Tycho is known for in their usual works.
Tracks like “For How Long,” and “Japan” quickly became beloved tracks throughout the summer of 2019, resulting in the album’s inevitable and well-deserved nomination for a Grammy in November 2019. The album lost the award to The Chemical Brothers’ No Geography but remains a pivotal piece of work in 2019’s canonical list of electronic music favorites.
Where Simulcast differs is in its style, but not its completeness.
Weather was a transformative album experience from beginning to end, offering transcendental synth beats and dreamy guitar chords that created a tone akin to watching clouds pass in a field of flowers on the first warm day of spring. Not unlike Tycho’s other works, both Weather and Simulcast offer bittersweet electronic instrumentals that feel like a breath of fresh air in an industry filled with party tracks seeking to play on the next mainstage festival set.
Where Tycho thrives in Simulcast is in their ability to stay true to his signature sound without shocking fans with an entirely new project. As a companion album to Weather the instrumental versions of its more popular songs are likely to please fans of Tycho’s relaxing, airy tone.
Each track comes with a description of how and why it was made on streaming services.
Tracks like “PCH” are upbeat and pop-influenced but remain true to the instrumental aspect of the album. “I’ve lived in San Francisco for 14 years, and during the time that I made this album in particular, I spent most of the mornings surfing at Ocean Beach. I park on PCH and put on my wet suit, and it’s become a a big part of my ritual,” says Scott Hansen—who is known professionally as Tycho. “It shaped what this record meant to me. I also wanted to show how you can take a pop-forward song like ‘Pink & Blue’ and completely change the tone and mood by removing the vocal and adding a lead. Suddenly it’s brand new. I thought that was a fascinating exercise,” he says in the Apple Music description of Simulcast.
Overall, the tracks on Simulcast don’t delve too far from their counterparts on Weathered. The instrumental versions of each track feel complete despite the removal of the vocals, and Hansen was able to provide a fresh take on each one without making them unrecognizable. In the same way that a book of experimental poetry might mess around with form, Tycho’s Simulcast feels like a book of poetry for the ears—and a great one, at that.