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Simulcast Review

by Paul Simpson

Weather was Tycho's first album to be centered around lyrics, with guest vocalist Hannah Cottrell (Saint Sinner) adding a more relatable touch to the group's already accessible brand of atmospheric electronic pop. Simulcast takes the same material and makes it more open to interpretation, removing the lead vocals and expanding on the instrumental ideas of the album. Three of the songs on Weather were already instrumentals (with just a few vocal traces by Cottrell), and they reappear on Simulcast without alteration. Otherwise, the track list is rearranged, and the other five songs are reworked and given new titles. This isn't a dub version, nor did Tycho mastermind Scott Hansen merely just snip out the vocal tracks. Here, he adds more guitar and synth melodies which seem to sing out in the same way as on older Tycho albums. The tracks stretch out a little bit longer, and in some cases there are more active rhythms. "Outer Sunset" adds slapping drums to the previously beatless "Skate," while "Alright" takes the lazy beach drift of "For How Long" and leads it closer to the dancefloor. "PCH" adds a dark enough hue to "Pink & Blue" so that it registers as a different song than the original, even though the music is essentially the same. The last two tracks, "Cypress" and "Stress," respectively take "Japan" and "No Stress" as the launching pads for mildly psychedelic mind journeys, stretching them farther out and retaining a few brief lyrical phrases from Cottrell. Simulcast could be thought of as the more "background music" version of Weather, but even without lyrics, it's still meant to put your mind in motion. Both versions are equally worth the roughly half-hour it takes to listen to each.

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