Indie Artist Bibio's New Album, Ribbons, Out April 12th
Stephen Wilkinson, more commonly known as Bibio, is back for another surprising release this week, on Friday. Always one to keep his listeners on their toes, Bibio has released material that reaches new corners of his musical abilities for almost 15 years. He’s cited as a restless musician, hopping from one idea to another with each album. Though this can be difficult for fans who enjoy consistent artists, Bibio creates his music for explorers.
Ribbons, his 9th studio album, is set to release on April 12th via Warp Records. He is self-taught— not only as a musician but also as a producer. His interest in experimental music was fostered during his time at Middlesex University in London where he studied sonic arts. He began using found sounds and experimental methods that now characterize much of his music. In fact, almost all of the instruments in Ribbons are played exclusively by Bibio himself.
The new album is stark in contrast to his 2017 ambient project, Phantom Brickworks. In Ribbons he shifts his style toward folk with a new array of sounds like fiddle, mandolin, and flute while still keeping electronic touches heavily intertwined. When listening to these songs, it’s easy to imagine sitting in a wooded clearing, seeing a mythical creature emerge from some kind of thick foggy mist. A feature that particularly stands out is the unpolished recorded fuzz that defines the mood of songs like “Ode to a Nuthatch,” “Patchouli May,” and lead single “Curls.” These songs are purposefully left raw, adding another touch of mysticism.
The common thread of this album is certainly earthy folk, yet the song “Pretty Ribbons and Lovely Flowers” is an electronic song at its core. This curveball track somehow fits just right within the whimsical soundscape. A pulsing bass layer creates an experimental foundation harkening back to the era of Brian Eno, with eerily layered and discordant speak-singing smoothing the surface. The song is absolutely the outlier on the album, but it also acts as the anchor to highlight the small electronic features laced throughout the rest of the album.
From Ribbons, we see that Bibio is an excellent pattern mixer. His blend of electronic and folk could have fallen flat, but he manages to pull it off without a hitch. Be sure to pick up his mesmerizing album this Friday, April 12th.
1. Beret Girl
2. The Art Of Living
5. Ode To A Nuthatch
6. Watch The Flies
7. It’s Your Bones
8. You Couldn’t Even Hear The Birds Singing
9. Pretty Ribbons And Lovely Flowers
11. Frankincense And Coal
12. Old Graffiti
13. Patchouli May
14. Valley Wulf
16. Under A Lone Ash