Tycho evolved from a Boards of Canada-inspired solo project to a highly successful touring group with several Billboard-charting albums. Early releases such as 2006's Past Is Prologue were recorded solo by California-based producer and graphic artist Scott Hansen, and consisted of downtempo IDM pieces filled with warm melodies and nostalgic samples. Tycho became a full band in 2010, and beginning with 2011 full-length Dive, the group's music became more focused and organic, incorporating a greater presence of guitar melodies and playing out like complete electronic dream pop songs rather than vignettes or extended mood pieces. Completing an album trilogy with 2016's Epoch, Tycho tightened up their sound and began including lyrics for the first time with 2019's Weather.
Tycho debuted in 2002 with The Science of Patterns, a self-released four-track EP. Sunrise Projector, Hansen's first full-length, was released in 2004 on the Gammaphone label. After the album was re-released on Merck in 2006 under the title Past Is Prologue, he settled in with Ghostly International, where he issued a trio of singles and EPs ("The Daydream," "Adrift," "Coastal Brake") and provided artwork and graphic design under his visual artist moniker, ISO50. As with many Ghostly artists, Tycho's music received much exposure via Cartoon Network's Adult Swim late-night programming block and website, appearing as background and interstitial music during the network's broadcasts and being included on compilations such as 2008's Ghostly Swim.
In 2010, Hansen established a full-band lineup of Tycho, including guitarist and bassist Zac Brown, drummer Rory O'Connor, and bass guitarist/keyboard player Joe Davancens. The group became an incredibly popular live act, appearing at numerous festivals as well as headlining several sold-out tours. Tycho's long-awaited full-length Dive arrived on Ghostly in 2011, and was well-received. While Hansen worked on material and singles for his next LP, 2013 saw the vinyl reissue of Past Is Prologue on Ghostly. Awake, Tycho's proper follow-up to Dive, was released in early 2014 and was another success, charting at number 23 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart, an unusual feat for an IDM album.
Following two more years of constant touring and graphic design work, Tycho released Awake Remixes on Ghostly in early 2016, with a new studio album in the works. Later that year, the singles "Division" and "Epoch" preceded the full-length Epoch, which was given a surprise release that September. The album was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Early 2019 saw the arrival of a flurry of singles ahead of the release of Tycho's fifth full-length effort, Weather, which appeared later that July on Mom + Pop Music/Ninja Tune. Diverting from the sound of Tycho's previous albums, the Grammy-nominated Weather was more focused and pop-minded, with five of its eight songs featuring vocalist Saint Sinner. Simulcast, an instrumental companion to Weather, followed in 2020.
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