Tilian is a solo project from Tilian Pearson, a vocalist for acts such as Dance Gavin Dance and Tides of Man. With his first solo release, Material Me, coming out back in 2013, he has released a steady stream of albums both with his solo work alongside DGD.
Factory Reset, Tilian’s 4th full solo release, is both a universal and personal album that Tilian crafted almost entirely single handily, with production starting just weeks after California was placed into lockdown due to the pandemic. Tilian stated that “I was searching for meaning in isolation and found it in creating this album” as well as how having complete creative control allowed true experimentation and allowed him to be true to himself in the process.
The opening track, Holy Water, blends together Prog instrumentals with Alt-Pop and perfectly complements Tilian’s unique vocal sound. Dose, one of the album’s singles, keeps some of the more Prog styled instrumentals, while Caught in the Carousel is a ridiculously catchy, Falsetto filled Alt-Pop earworm.
The aptly named Anthem is a track that feels constructed to be played live, with multiple lines of the track sounding like Call-Response moments, while still managing to be a solid, catchy Pop track. Breathe which follows is one of the album’s more experimental tracks, with its slightly psychedelic electronic sound that flows effortlessly around the vocals. Following is All I Crave is Peace which wouldn’t feel out of place on a DGD record.
Is Anarchy A Good Hobby brings more Alt-Pop to the album before the title track, Factory Reset is just a straight-up Soundcloud Trap Banger with a sick beat and vocals that complement the sound perfectly. Imagination brings in more of the Trap inspiration but adds in instrumentals that would feel perfectly at home on a Polyphia release.
As the album heads towards its end, we have Act Out that feels like a blend of experimental Electronica alongside some just great Pop music, before the closing track of the album Hands Around My Throat blends the electronic elements with more DGD-ESC instrumentals.
Factory Reset is a damn good album. Despite the insane range in sounds and styles, nothing feels even slightly out of place and the vocals are just phenomenal from start to finish. Tilian has created a great album here that does the almost impossible task of being truly experimental while still sounding accessible and familiar for an already established audience.