Scott Hansen has been gradually expanding on the beautifully constructed techno he's been making as Tycho for over a decade now. With the addition of full-fledged band members bassist and guitarist Zac Brown and drummer Rory O’Connor around the time of 2014’s Awake, he began pushing his sound beyond the limitations of conventional electronic music to explore new possibilities. You could argue his transition peaked on 2016’s Epoch, but on his newest album Weather, Tycho continues expanding and refining his sound, dipping into even more sublime headspaces in the process. With a greater emphasis on physical instruments, it's easily the most organic of his albums, and Weather also marks the first regular appearance of actual vocals on a Tycho album.

It opens with the appropriately titled 'Easy', which kicks off with what sounds like antiquated computer blips that give way to rich warm bass tones rounded out by a flurry of stuttering drums. There's a sense of urgency rippling through the music and when Hannah Cottrell (Saint Sinner) enters the mix with her mostly wordless, other-worldly vocals, she pushes everything into a kind of transcendental space, the kind of song you could easily find yourself zoning out to regardless of your surroundings. Lead single 'Pink and Blue' meanwhile bends its airy guitars, humming synths, and tight snapping drums to fit conventional rock structures, with Cottrell's delivery sounding on the verge of completely evaporating into the music.

Depending on what you expect from a Tycho album, the presence of an actual vocalist might be something difficult to adjust to at first. But Cottrell is far from distraction and, despite her obvious talents, she doesn't exactly send ripples through the music. In fact, her voice nestles so comfortably in the arrangements that it does nothing to nudge the music outside of its hermetic comfort zone.

As for the rest of the songs, they mostly stick to the same formula: 'Japan', 'For How Long' and 'Skate' all offer deeply rich layers and structured instrumentals that aim to tap into the subconscious. For all of the well crafted, meticulous arrangements, and polished production, Weather ultimately suffers from the same drawbacks of previous Tycho albums in that it doesn't leave much of an impression beyond its surface beauty. It ultimately comes up short on tapping into the kind of emotional depth needed to resonate beyond feeling like those brief moments when we find ourselves experiencing a sudden case of deja vu before snapping back to reality.