SAN FRANCISCO — Tycho celebrated his new album, Weather, with an intimate show at the Independent Tuesday evening. Over the course of two sets, Scott Hansen and his bandmates evolved from a delicate solo showcase into a powerful full-band performance that brought every composition to life, turn from an electronic ambient sound into a live audiovisual experience.
Though Tycho put on this secret show in support of his new release, the Sacramento-born artist’s first set consisted of older material, such as “Hours” from 2011’s Dive, “Montana” from 2014’s Awake, and “Epoch”and “Horizon” from 2016’s Epoch. Each cut demonstrated a particular sound unique to Tycho. The first portion of the show was rich in atmospheric vibes and warm sound, its nix of textures and melodies creating an ambience that channeled both chillwave and intelligent dance music (IDM).
After a 15-minute break, Hansen explained that Weather was a “reset” for him as an artist. This introduced the second half of the show, which consisted of Weather performed front-to-back. Within 30 minutes, the artist unveiled an entirely new exploration of sounds within the particular breezy atmospheres of the band, introducing some vocal-led tracks, while still keeping the general structure of Tycho’s songs. The vocals were performed by Hannah Cottrell, (Saint Sinner), who also appeared on the record. She provided an ethereal vocal style that blended perfectly with Hansen’s similarly dreamy music.
Cottrell’s and Hansen’s synergy was a driving force for the different sonic layers heard on the likes of the quick and groovy “Easy” and the sugary “Pink & Blue.” The aesthetic and sound were of a familiar vein to Tycho’s previous releases, but Weather delivered a more organic feel with the addition of the vocals.
After “Japan,” a piece of delicate psychedelia, washy synths and textural downtempo rhythms, Cottrell temporarily left the stage while the band perform several instrumental cuts, Tycho’s signature projections illuminating the stage. She then returned for a very intimate session, accompanied by only two guitarists. Cottrell’s vocals led the remaining songs of the set and album, closing with the title track.
In many ways, Weather proved to be the next big step for Tycho’s progression as a full band, now becoming much more than Hansen’s solo project. It was a way to show how the band is now capable of exploring textures, sounds, atmospheres and effects alongside telling for explicit stories.
Following a break the band returned to the stage to perform an encore of Tycho’s best-known songs: “A Walk,” “Awake” and “Division.”