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Critical Voices: Bibio, The Green EP

January 30, 2014


The Voice

On his latest release, The Green EP, Bibio doesn’t let lyrics get in the way of his storytelling.  In fact, Bibio’s lyrics sit on the sidelines for much of this six-track record, allowing for a dynamic sound while maintaining well-balanced instrumentation. Without having to worry about dominant vocals, English producer Stephen Wilkinson—stage name Bibio—paints intensely emotional and nostalgic landscapes in his distinctive guitar-heavy, electronic-folk sound.

A follow up to Bibio’s 2013 full-length release, Silver Wilkinson, The Green EP is his acoustic-oriented exploration of the track “Dye The Water Green,” which is featured on the album. This song successfully lays the tone for the rest of the collection, immediately launching the listener into a consuming sound space. Characterized by its gentle pace and expressive guitar line, a lo-fi nostalgia seeps into every element of the song, from the distant reverbed vocals to the soft synth drone.

Wilkinson’s impressive ability to communicate vivid images is never more apparent than in “Dinghy” and “The Spinney View of Hinkley Point,” both of which are illustrative instrumentals. “Dinghy” is simply composed, relying on one basic twangy guitar riff, repeated throughout the track, to carry the song. Bibio’s imagination is brought to life by the dynamic swing of the song, beginning with an extended crescendo followed immediately by an equally gradual diminuendo. This swell draws the listener into the experience before gently bringing them back before moving on to Wilkinson’s next beautiful landscape.

The EP’s final track, “The Spinney View of Hinkley Point” is another instrumental. Unlike “Dinghy,” it isn’t the songs dynamics that conjure a green, sun-soaked memory, but rather it’s Bibio’s folky percussion section that gives the song its character. Highlighted by a tambourine, the drum line floats along giving the strings and guitar beneath it a consistent structure without taking away from the song’s flowing, relaxed pace.

This brief record gives the listener a chance to dive into Bibio’s imagination and experience the world he has created. On The Green EP, Wilkinson successfully transports the listener to his soundscapes, defined by their nostalgia and their intense emotion. Ultimately, this EP gives the listener a glimpse over the fence, and shows how much greener things can be.

 

Voice’s Choices: “Dye The Water Green,” “The Spinney View of Hinkley Point”



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