Epoch is the final album in a trilogy of albums that Tycho has released over the past 6 years. This began with Dive, an album that put Scott Hansen’s musical project on the tongues and in the ears of audiophiles the world over, and continued with Awake. Those who were expecting Epoch to have the sweeping ethereality that Dive brought to the table will be pleasantly surprised. Hansen has expanded this solo project into a 4 piece band. In the world of dreamy electronic music, this is a rock album at heart.

Hansen and company, as Tycho, elevate their art. Just looking at the album cover of Epoch, you get a great sense of what is to come audio-wise. Hansen is also a graphic designer under the moniker ISO50. While it may be trite to say this artwork is purposeful, the dynamic comparisons between the visuals and audio are meant to work hand in hand. The best example is the use of negative space and color choice. The album art is deep red and black, with just a dot of eggshell white. There is not a sense of doom, but an implied heaviness with the stoic use of negative space. In comparison to the previous albums, Epoch has a sonic girth and earnest steadfast stability. And that is what makes this album “rock” at heart.

The album opens with ‘Glider’. The beginning xylophone-esque sounds that are played, feel like you are being awoken on a new day; there is a brief sense of optimism as you greet the morning sun before the day truly begins. And then, with a slow build up, the percussion and pulsating bass thunder in under a synth line that calls out as a shofar to its tribe. From there, the album glides along with more upbeat and percussion-heavy tracks.

Then there is the pensive ‘Receiver’. There is a repeating melody line that just rolls over the rest of the composition like a dense fog. There is a key line played high on the scale that leads you through a damp and clouded forest. This track is moment of reflection from the rest of the iron-clad tracks.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this album being “rock” at its heart comes with the track ‘Division’. The opening distorted guitar line coupled with cymbal and high hat drive of the drums would make early 2000s Radiohead blush with pride. There are moments where the bass punches through. But all of this is still done in a recognizably Tycho, fashion with whistling synths fleshed-out the arrangements.

What Hansen and company have accomplished with Epoch (and their previous albums) can only be described as tapping into the sublime. Through arrangements of their compositions and digital effects, they make some of the most organic music around. It is crafted from the stone of the mountains, not the industrial complex of some large city.

Epoch needed to make a statement as the final album of a trilogy. It has profoundly accomplished that. This is an album that is designed to be listened from beginning to end in one sitting. These tracks are not individual pieces packaged together, they are movements all part of the same body. While we love to pick a piece of fruit from a tree, smell one of its budding flowers, those would cease to be without the roots, trunk, ignored branches, and soil that nourished it; and in that same fashion, Epoch should be listened to as a whole, with the current political and cultural climate that bore it.