Tycho – Awake Album Artwork

Posted by Scott

As you may have noticed I haven’t been very active on the blog over the past year. This is because I had decided to focus solely on my music project, Tycho for a while. I spent the last 9 months or so working with the band on a new record which is now complete. Of course, Tycho is very much an audio / visual project so I’m still working consistently on design whether it be album covers, show posters, or online assets. I was working on the cover art and developing the packaging in parallel with the recording process this time around. We recently shared the final artwork for this LP, entitled Awake (listen to the title track here). I’ll go more into the reasoning behind and making of the artwork later, but for now here is a quote from this Reddit discussion of the cover art that I commented on:

This design was mean to be a flag; more of a symbol than what I would think of as traditional album art. I felt that, with physical mediums disappearing, album art didn’t necessarily have to fit a given format and I wanted something that could be readily transported.

If you look at earlier artwork you’ll see that I was pursuing a more maximalist / photographic direction for Tycho (e.g. ). But this album has a more stripped down, visceral thing going on and I wanted that reflected in the artwork. Really this is meant to be an inconized form of the sun / circle motif present in a lot of the Tycho cover art to date. Kind of like a unifying symbol for all the output that preceded this release. I see this, for various reasons, as the first true Tycho album and so wanted to focus everything into a simple form that encapsulated that idea. On a side note, there are eight color bands in the circle, each one representing a track.

The beauty of creating the artwork for the music over all these years is that I am free to develop a cohesive lineage with the imagery. From what I have seen of my peers over these past 13 or so years as a designer, we generally tend towards simplification as we go along and I think that is an important part of design: efficiency of communication. Whether this particular design is effective in that respect obviously isn’t something I have the objectivity to comment on, but that was the goal at least.

The album will be released on March 18th, 2014. Here is the track listing:

Tycho – Awake (2014)

1. Awake
2. Montana
3. L
4. Dye
5. See
6. Apogee
7. Spectre
8. Plains

And those who were following along on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter know that we released the artwork first via a 9×9 grid. I printed the artwork, cut it up, and photographed it using various pieces of musical equipment as backdrops. Here’s the grid in one image:


Makeshift lighting setup. All my camera gear was stolen recently so limping along with a point and shoot setup for now.

Makeshift lighting setup. All my camera gear was stolen recently so limping along with a point and shoot setup for now.

You can listen to the title track from Awake now on the Tycho Soundcloud page

More to come soon, thanks for the support!

24 Comments Leave A Comment


Brendan says:

December 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I love the new artwork, and I know that I will love the new album, but I do think that Dive is a true ‘Tycho’ record! It will always have a place in my head and heart, at least to me as THE debut Tycho album, and one of the greatest albums I have ever heard (up there with In Rainbows, and Blood Pressures by the Kills) .


Wolvomo says:

December 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm


You say that you consider this your first true LP. Would you say Dive ended up being exactly what you wanted it to be in that regard? Was there anything you would have changed about that album?

Love your work both graphically and musically.


Peter says:

December 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I’m really looking forward to hearing the record. Love the title track! Thanks for the music… Peter


Bryan says:

December 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Sorry to post this here, but when will orders placed to the shop over Thanksgiving be shipped? I’ve received no response to my emails.


Henrik Sonnergard says:

December 18, 2013 at 1:37 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, always interesting to have a look behind the scenes. Love the way both your music and design output has inspired my own works over the years.

Can’t wait for the new LP.


Emile says:

December 18, 2013 at 3:00 am

Scott, thank you for all the hard work. The added detail regarding the designs and the general thought process which goes into your music really enhances the listening experience. I eagerly await the new album, which I know will be amazing!


KYLE says:

December 18, 2013 at 5:19 am

shit to hear about your gear. looks like i’ll just have to buy the LP to help out! best of luck on the release, scott.

been a fan since science of patterns, so if you’re just getting started now, then wicked. it’s been a good warm up!


Jordan says:

December 18, 2013 at 7:50 am

Scott if you don’t mind me asking, was your camera gear stolen while you were on tour?

I remember reading an article about Bonobo’s laptop/gear being stolen from his hotel on tour as well; shit sucks man.


Jay Bruns says:

December 18, 2013 at 8:20 am

Thank you for filling us in on the process. Always such a pain to have gear stolen, I hope it is either recovered or fully covered by insurance.

Love the cover artwork. Keep it up.


Justin Park says:

December 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

Scott, love the song and am sorry to hear about the stolen gear!

I would love to use Awake in an upcoming Kickstarter video. I’m not sure how to use the proper channels for permission though. Is it as simple as crediting the song to you (tycho) and showing you the final product and getting permission? Or, should I contact the Windish Agency to officially licence the song?


Tycho Superfan says:

December 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Peter Cetera and David Foster wrote words so fitting for the way I feel about Tycho, long ago in 1984, and I must state that when I think of Tycho the band, and Scott the man, I must say:

You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration
Wanna have you near me
I wanna have you hear me sayin’
No one needs you more that I need you

I can’t wait for the new album.


blueisola says:

December 20, 2013 at 6:55 am

Man, if there are those out there that believe Dive was Tycho’s first true album, well I don’t know what to tell you. Sunrise Projector will always be an awakening of sorts for me. But the true perfection occured with the recent release (finally!) of Past is Prologue on vinyl. That, to me at least, is how that record is meant to be heard and everything that is the totality of Tycho’s music. And for the record I love Dive and cannot wait for what Scott and co. have in mind for the years to come!


chroma key says:

December 20, 2013 at 8:51 am

Fantastic, I can’t wait to preorder. Tycho, I hope to catch you around Denver region some day…


Jacob says:

December 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm

@Chroma Key, you do know he was in Boulder just last month right? That show was amazing.

Also really looking forward to the new album!


Dman says:

February 5, 2014 at 5:59 am

So pumped, obsessed with the track ‘Montana’ for the kickin drums! But I have been collecting Tycho music for sometime and see everyone calling Dive the debut, in my opinion along with @BLUEISOLA Past is Prologue is such a solid debut! I love everything about that album, and love the vinyl press(with the crazy trippy gatefold). Dive I bought, but honestly was less impressed than I was with Past is Prologue, and Awake exceeds all my expectations, good job guys! You nailed it!