SOUNDS LIKE: Father John Misty, Neon Indian, Burial, Four Tet, Explosions in the Sky, and Prefuse 73 got together decided to throw a minimalist party to delight and confuse their fans
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Because you like good music that balances experimental and pop, organic and electronic, and keeps you on your toes
If you already know the work of England’s Stephen Wilkinson, a.k.a. Bibio, then you probably know what you’re in for, at least in part; his evolution as a multi-instrumentalist producer continues to surprise and please even his most avid fans. Or, if you’ve never heard of him but are the type to be drawn in by cover art – a seductive holdover from less digital days, still powerful in its record-store browsing allure – you might find yourself happy to find the first few melodies and textures matching the vaguely serene natural-yet-unnatural aesthetics gracing the cover. And you might keep listening, trying to place a finger on what it is you’re listening to and where it is Bibio’s taking you.
The truth is, it’s hard to know; this album is in fact a journey proper. “À tout à l'heure,” one of the more poppy numbers on the album, is a completely non-representative yet wholly compelling glimpse into one small corner of Bibio’s confidently experimental style which many (unfortunately but nevertheless somewhat accurately) refer to as “folktronica.” Layer after layer – from post-rock atmospherics, to folk-acoustic moments, to ambient sounds directly sampled from his surroundings in nature (which greatly inspired this latest album, Silver Wilkinson), to the hooks and sample-heavy indie dance glitch cut-ups that seem to be everywhere these days – Bibio builds a surprisingly cohesive whole that is even greater than the sum of any of its individually great parts.