San Francisco-native Scott Hansen has been making music under the name of Tycho and has acted as the collaborative project’s leader, songwriter, and producer since 2002. Since then, the group has produced four studio albums. The latest, Epoch, was recently dropped as a surprise album and features chill, electronic instrumental tracks.

Taking its name from the word meaning “the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of something,” the album truly lives up to its name, offering a more polished sound than previous albums. According to Hansen, it is also a more personally relevant one, saying “I felt like I explored a lot of open-ended unbridled, optimistic spaces with the other records. I don’t know if [a previous album, Awake’s] a reflection of my life, but it seemed like that’s what just came out at the time.” The new album has a slightly darker, mellower tone while still incorporating the elements that made previous albums so successful, including the employment and marriage of vintage-sounding synthesizers with fresher grooves and sounds.

Tycho’s sound could be described as similar to Baths’ or Boards of Canada’s, and is great music to listen to late at night for a more low-key listening experience that allows for the complexities of each song to be recognized and appreciated.

Anne Still