A welcome escape
Bibio used enchanting instrumentation and gorgeous production to craft his newest folktronica album, Sleep on the Wing. The project is an eclectic collection of folk motifs consumed and regurgitated by Bibio. The plucked instruments are intertwined with a subtle mystic. Synth voices and midi instruments hide under the layers of acoustic sound, not creating a more robotic version of folk music but a more expanded and interesting one. The claps on “Miss Blennerhassett” sound real but the rhythm and dynamics feel sequenced on a computer. One could call it lazy, but maybe it’s just different.
The sounds on “The Milky Way Over Ratlinghope” are ornate and rich; it’s arrangement of beautifully mixed plucked instruments build gracefully. Occasionally Bibio’s vocals creep into the mix, adding another gorgeous layer of sound. “Sleep on the Wing” is the most vocal-heavy song on the album, charming plucks and synth-like flutes flow calmly along. It’s hypnotizing atmosphere transforms notes into a calming and nostalgic peace of mind. “Lightspout Hollow” is a unique and oddly distorted mix of natural sounds, pianos and guitars. While somewhat repetitive, this track is a very interesting loop that shows Bibio’s strength in sound selection and layering.
While short and in need of some more vocals, this album is a cohesive and wonderfully produced piece of folktronica. There are filler tracks here and there but they are always interesting and transition perfectly into the more substantial tracks. Overall, the arrangements and song structures always surprise and never feel dull, the sound selection and production is gorgeous and is a unique take on this style of music. Sleep on the Wing is a welcomed escape that shouldn’t be missed.