Tycho’s latest album, Awake, sees the ambient producer strip back his sound and go back to basics. Gone are the sound effects of the ocean and the voice samples of his last offering – instead, his new work is more upbeat, even sounding somewhat indie rock at moments with a heavy use of guitar and drums as well as the usual synth. Awake marks a progression for Tycho (real name Scott Hanson) which has seen him perform with other musicians at live shows rather than just producing electronically. The album, recorded this time as a 3-piece, has made the record thicker and heavier than the last, with less electronics and more ‘real’ instruments. First single, ‘Montana’ centres around a melodic guitar riff, and whilst it is lengthy at five minutes long, it is the kind of track that ambles pleasantly along at a steady pace, making it very easy listening. The more pensive ‘Spectre’ is moodier, sounding like it could be something from a film soundtrack, designed to be emotive and compelling. Like a lot of ambient music, the album is relaxing to listen to, dreamlike in places and more up-tempo in others. It is an instrumental album, and creates a pleasant atmosphere, and the focus on musicality makes it exceedingly easy on the ear.