Bibio: Silver Wilkinson

629Today marks the release of Bibio’s seventh studio album, Silver Wilkinson, and damn, you need to pick this one up.

The first three tracks are exactly what I would expect from Bibiothat melancholy sound that feels as far away as your childhood, yet still retains vibrant quality of a new experience, an aesthetic shaped from  reverberating guitars played through clean amplifiers, swashing pads, spectral vocals and tasteful audio samples like the vinyl static on ‘The First Daffodils’. Yes, Bibio’s simplistic tendencies produce a truly sublime quality to the music. Take ‘Wulf’ for example, a short two-minute piece consisting of ocean samples, a lone guitar played through an aqueous filter, and some other textural instruments which are near indiscernible. That’s all it takes to create a full audio setting with a mood that is strong and comprehensive of a lonely walk on the beach. This track transitions into ‘Mirroring All’, a song that, towards it’s center, illustrates a shifting of tone in the album from a series of washed out photographs to your family’s first color TV set.

Following this is my favorite track, no doubt one that will become a classic in Bibio’s repertoire. ‘À tout à l’heure’ is a bright, two-step song with sexy bass lines, tasty guitar loops, happy-sounding synths and some of the most pleasing vocal melodies I’ve heard. You can’t help but bob your head to this tune. I’m looking forward to blasting it out of my car over the summer.

Upon reaching the seventh track, ‘You’, the aforementioned colored TV set that used to be the subject of bragging amongst the neighbors is suddenly replaced by a 70-inch HD plasma screen. I’ll admit, as soon as this song came on I had to do a double-take. I just wasn’t used to this kind of downtempo trip-hop sound from Bibio. It sounded more like something from Bonobo’s line of work. Needless to say, I was happily impressed.

I won’t ruin the rest of the surprises that are in store for listeners, but I will say that by the time this album finished I wanted more. Of course I put it on loop later, but for a while after that first listen I was left with the same feeling one has when finishing a memoir or watching some incredibly moving drama, which is only to say that it feels like the story of someone’s personal journey. That being said, there is no more perfect way to wrap up this album than with it’s final song, ‘You Won’t Remember…’, a finger-pickin’ tune that sounds both sad and hopeful. Complete with an old-sounding piano, cool vocals and contemplative lyrics, this is a piece that is capable of evoking those feelings which are uniquely attributed to the most treasured of nostalgic memories.

From beginning to end Silver Wilkinson exudes nothing but beauty, creativity, style and the ability to push past it’s comfort zone. As I said, if you’re a fan of all things good, pick this one up…10/10

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