Since his 2005 debut album, fi, Stephen Wilkinson aka Bibio has constantly evolved and thrived with each and every album he has thrown at us.
Following 2017’s Phantom Brickworks, Bibio has a new album on the way and as always, he continues to surprise and entice us. And also exploring new grounds, judging by the folksy flavours of fiddle showing through ‘Curls’, the gorgeous new track that is now streaming. Take a listen below and read a statement about it from Bibio himself straight after.
“Like with many of my songs and instrumental pieces, this song started out with a guitar riff. It then took on a melodic theme played on mandolin and violin, both being instruments I started playing in 2018.
Lyrically, the song is inspired by a collection of separate memories, observations and fantasies, seemingly unrelated but tied together by a theme of admiration of those small things in life. When I look back on recent years, some of the things that seem to be significant to me are these small observations and experiences, like the smell of rain on wool or fresh air captured in a person’s hair after coming inside from a walk outside.
These moments can be joyous and profound at times, a reminder of what life can be about, both meaningful and beyond meaning, which is a reminder for me that wordless songs often seem to say more than ones with lyrics.
These types of everyday moments can feel more significant or memorable than qualifications and ambitious achievements, they extend into the ancient and beyond one’s own inner world; the same consciousness was probably experiencing the same many millennia before us.
There are many good things in life that you can have too much of, except for fresh air, so perhaps that’s why it feels so welcome when it clings to us, and therefore, like these other little daily observations that resonate with me so much, it’s worthy of a mention in a song.”
With April comes a superb mixtape lovingly put together by wonderful and prolific Greek composer, electronic musician and producer Serafim Tsotsonis. With an immense portfolio spanning four albums and compositions and collaborations in the worlds of film, television, and theatre, his influences are vast, flirting with genres from neo-classical and ambient to post-rock and dream pop. You'll find a bit of all of this and more in his mix so press play and enjoy!
Fennesz – The Point of It All [Touch]
Demen – Mea [Kranky]
Brian Eno & Harold Budd – Still Return [Virgin Records]
Jon Hassell & Ry Cooder – Nature Boy [Water Lily Acoustics]
Ocean Hope -Tame [Hush Hush]
Boards Of Canada – One Very Important Thought [Warp]
Weyes Blood – In the Beginning [Mexican Summer]
Ryuichi Sakamoto – andata (Oneohtrix Point Never Rework) [Milan Music]
Efterklang – The Living Layer [4AD]
Bibio – Kaini Industries (Original By Boards of Canada) [Warp]
Slowdive – Don’t Know Why [Dead Oceans]
Alfred Schnittke – II
Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd – Outside, Silence [Soleil Apres Minuit]
Bibio has a new record on the way called Phantom Brickworks, following last year’s A Mineral Love. Featuring nine new tracks, the record arrives on November 3rd through Warp. As is usual with Bibio’s releases, he offered some words about the it:
“I don’t believe in ghosts but I do believe places can be haunted by meaning. Places change, not always for the better and not always by natural, benevolent or politically sound means. A place can be charged with atmosphere because of what it has been through or what it has been.
Phantom Brickworks is a collection of mostly improvised musical pieces, that for some years now, have provided me with a mental portal into places and times – some real, some imaginary, some a combination of both. Human beings are highly sensitive to the atmospheres of places, which can be enhanced or dramatically altered when you learn about the context of their history. Echoes and voices can sometimes be heard, in some way or another. Places sometimes have things to say.”
The delicate, magical and eerie ‘Phantom Brickworks III’ is the first single lifted from the album and it comes with a perfectly paired video, also made by Bibio.
Spring is blooming with wonderful album releases, and one that we have been listening to over and over again is Bibio‘s seventh album, A Mineral Love. Bibio has recently shared a new single from the album, the marvellous ‘Light Up The Sky’, with a fitting kaleidoscopic video directed by Joe Giacomet. Watch it below.
We’re getting excitingly close to the release of Bibio‘s new album A Mineral Love, due out on April 1st through Warp. He had already conquered our ears with ‘Petals’, ‘Feeling’ and ‘Town & Country’, all taken from the upcoming album. Bibio is enticing us again with the wonderful ballad ‘The Way You Talk’, also off A Mineral Love. The track marks his first collaboration, with Gotye guesting on vocals. Here’s what Bibio said about it:
“I first heard Gotye’s music when he approached me to remix what quickly became his hit single ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’. I was unfamiliar with him and his music before hearing that track, but I loved the track on first listen and by the second or third listen I was convinced that ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ was going to be a big hit, I was absolutely sure of it. There was just something about that track, the hook, the emotion, the lyrics but also his great voice, it all came together in a way that was something new but also something kind of familiar, a winning combination. Gotye himself has a unique voice but it also feels somehow familiar and I think this was one of the reasons why his track touched so many people.
A few years ago I had been playing around with this chord sequence that I came up with when playing my Wurlitzer electric piano. I became quite addicted to the sequence and slowly developed it over time. As it got more fleshed out and more nuanced, I started to hear potential in it as the foundation of a song. The line “But there’s something about the way you talk” just came out one day while I was playing the piano. I played around with the context of that line and added more lyrics bit by bit, omitting some along the way. The emotional nature of the track and the way I played the piano part seemed to lend itself to an 80s ballad type sound, something I have a bit of a soft spot for.
I did several versions of this track and when it became more developed, I started to imagine a different voice on it. Gotye specifically came to mind because that familiarity I talked about earlier felt like a good match for the track, I just imagined his voice working with the vibe of the track. I contacted him and he was keen to get involved, so I sent him the lyrics, instrumental and my vocal demo and he sent back his vocal parts, not just copying my vocals exactly, he added his own thing, his own nuances, which I loved instantly.”
With his seventh album nearing release date, Bibio has shared another wonderful and radiant song from A Mineral Love called ‘Town & Country’. Stephen Wilkinson aka Bibio had already teased his forthcoming album with the beautiful ‘Petals’ and the soulful and groovy ‘Feeling‘. Here’s what Bibio said in a statement about the song and his move to the countryside:
“When I lived in North London between 1999-2003 I found my feet as an artist and came up with the name Bibio. It was also by my second year in London that I knew I wanted to be in the countryside, far away from the big city. My dream was always an old country cottage with an outbuilding I could turn into a studio, the cherry on the cake would be to get a drum kit in there. That dream has now come true and my first ever drum kit is featured in this song. I wrote the drum parts but got my good friend Rob Lee to play them as he is an accomplished drummer with solid timing, it also gave me freedom to work on the miking and the overall sound of the drums as he performed. Rob also added nuances and flair that only an experienced drummer could bring to the mix. It’s a song about struggle, endurance, fantasy, longing, acceptance and appreciation. I wanted it to be both uplifting and bittersweet. It’s not necessarily about me, although written from my sympathetic perspective, but I’m sure there will be people out there who will relate to it.”
Listen to ‘Town & Country’ below and grab A Mineral Love when it drops on April 1st through Warp.