Bibio is back with his latest record Ribbons, his first album since 2017’s Phantom Brickworks, via Warp Records. The album travels between various genres, even simply within songs. It also has a few instrumental tracks thrown into the mix.
The album opens with an instrumental track, “Beret Girl.” As you listen, it feels like you are standing by a river. This nature theme is used throughout the album, with animal sounds and an overall nature vibe shining through each song. You can also hear the nature-infused sounds on the song “The Art Of Living”, with birds ending the song with a fade-out.
The album is clearly influenced by 70s and 80s music, and on “Before,” the vocalist, Stephen Wilkinson, even has a Phil Collins-influenced sound to his voice. Most of the songs have a huge nature influence on them and are certainly have elements of folk music to them, but “Before” has a jazz/soft rock feel to it.
Like “Before,” “Pretty Ribbons and Lovely Flowers” has more of an electronic sound than a nature vibe. Despite this similarity, the latter has a darker, more modern sound while “Before” has an 80s Phil Collins fee to it.
“Erdaydidder-Erdiddar” is a very lighthearted and upbeat song. Here, think an Irish jig while still having bits and pieces of electronic music. It features what sounds like a tin whistle or a flute, both of which are prominent in Irish folk music.
Overall, though, the album maintains a feel of 70s folk music with a few surprises mixed in. While each song has the feel, the use of various instruments and tempos allows each song to have its own style. The album has a wide variety of songs, which is perfect for someone who has an eclectic taste in music. There is something for everyone on this album, which is not something that many musicians can say these days.
Rating: Eclectically peaceful