The ambient electronic producer Tycho (born Scott Hansen) received a Grammy nomination in 2019 for his fifth studio album Weather, which was unusually structured and vocal-heavy compared to his prior releases. With Simulcast, a sort of instrumental companion album, the Bay Area producer comes full circle. “I wanted to show those songs through two different lenses: the vocal and the instrumental,” he tells Apple Music. “I wanted to show how a single core concept can evolve into two completely different things. It proves how powerful the process is in shaping the song.” Hansen started writing Simulcast while he was touring Weather and reflecting on the past decade of his career. “I felt this urge to restart the whole story,” he says, “to go back to the way I produced music when I first started, as a way to clear the slate. Simulcast is my transition into a new phase.” Some of the songs here are identical to their counterparts on Weather, some have simply lost the vocals, and some morph into something entirely new. “I see the albums as two paths to the same place,” he says—like two routes on a hike. “There are little side trails, new terrain, and a few common landmarks that feel familiar.” Weather “This song closes the last album, and I wanted it to be the jumping-off point for this album. To me, it always felt like both a beginning and an end. So now it’s both. After you listen to Weather, you come back to this familiar place to find out what's next. If you wanted, you could delete the last song or the first song of either record and sandwich them together.” Alright “I felt like there was something beautiful about the simplicity of ‘For How Long,’ so I wanted to keep this iteration to the point. But because it was one of the first songs I’d written for Weather, I had all these different versions and new ideas. The challenge with ‘Alright’ was finding a way to integrate those ideas into an instrumental version that still felt clean.” Outer Sunset “‘Skate’ was meant to be a very stripped-down, delicate arrangement, but I always felt the main chord progression had an interesting rhythm that would pair nicely with a dirty, distorted drum break. This version has that. Once I added that in, I rewrote the lead guitar parts to give the song more movement.” Into the Woods “My whole career, people have told me how much my music evokes nature—even people who haven't seen the graphics in my live show. And over time, I started to think, ‘Wow, yeah, they’re right, this whole time I really have been referencing the ocean or the desert.’ ‘Into the Woods,’ though, was the first time I deliberately tried to soundtrack a specific experience. My friend and I do these long overnight hikes through the Redwoods, and it’s all bright and clear until you get into the forest. There, it’s dark, foreboding, and surreal, and can be pretty scary at night. To me, this song embodies that whole journey: coming to terms with your fears, having this psychedelic experience with nature, and finding your way out.” Easy “I wanted to get back to my old breakbeat style and let the drums carry the song. I wrote this at a time when I was trying to overcome all the built-up anxiety from those whirlwind first eight years of Tycho. For this album, I wanted to focus on my mental and physical health—to get into a sustainable space where I could do this and it wasn't killing me every time. For whatever reason, this song just flowed. It made for a great entry point into this record’s process, because it made me say, 'Just relax, don’t overthink it.'” PCH “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 wetsuit, and it's become a big part of my ritual. 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.” Cypress “This song’s counterpart, ‘Japan,’ was inspired by my very first synthesizers. They were Japanese and from the ’90s and had a specific lo-fi analog sound. Eventually, I visited Japan and spent time in this forested region outside of Tokyo where there’s this super high contrast of vibrant green trees and dark red shadows. Everything, from the shapes to the sounds to the colors, felt simultaneously very familiar and also completely foreign. I wanted to speak to that quiet disorientation.” Stress “When I was working with Hannah [Cottrell, the vocalist on Weather], I’d send her WAV files named ‘something.wav.’ The original file for this song’s counterpart was something like ‘trouble.wav,’ and she decided to call it ‘No Stress.’ I thought, ‘Oh, that's a nice sentiment.’ But deep down, I guess that song always felt like tension to me. For this version, I wanted to turn back to the core meaning and be very literal, to express what stress sounds like to me. Because really, that’s the driving force behind a lot of my music. At some point, you can't disconnect the anxiety from the art.”

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