“Skate,” the fifth track on Tycho’s latest release, Weather, reveals the album’s greatest strength. The one-named producer’s minimalist ambiance elevates the seductive vocals of Saint Sinner, which are practically carried by a singular guitar line from band member Zac Brown. The chemistry is everything.
And chemistry is important considering Weather marks a significant milestone for the ambient outfit of Scott Hansen. It’s Tycho’s first record following the ‘trilogy’ project that spanned 2011’s Dive, 2014’s Awake and 2016’s Epoch.
It’s also Tycho’s first project to feature original vocals, with the angel-voiced Saint Sinner blessing five of the album’s eight tracks. “You stop and stare / I can tell I’ve been on your mind / All the time,” she sings on “Pink & Blue” as Tycho’s electronics build to reflect her state of internalized euphoria.
Yet at times the album feels at odds with itself. Or more to the point, at odds with the Tycho we know. Instrumentals “Into The Woods” and “Weather” are excellent tracks within the band’s established sound, and given their track placement at #5 and #8, respectively, they’re clearly meant to act as interludes (along with opener “Easy”).
This approach sounds good in theory, but in reality it distracts from the atmosphere established by the singing tracks, and we’re left with a nice-sounding album with an inconsistent flow.
Hopefully, Weather will be the first in a line of collaborations with Saint Sinner and others. And next time, they can take a greater leap of faith into their new direction and hope listeners follow. More likely than not, they will.
Score: 🌦️🌦️🌦️ /5