Bibio returns, just over a year on from his latest album Ribbons, with a new ten track EP titled Sleep On The Wing due for release on June 12th on Warp Records and Warp Publishing.
The release follows a pattern Bibio has established in his work; releasing a follow-up EP after an album exploring similar sonic ground. This release draws on a familiar range of influences from traditional folk, peaceful atmospheric soundscapes and field recordings from the natural world. Stephen Wilkinson (Bibio) once again demonstrates the breadth of his musicality, embracing a wide range of self-played instruments including the strings which gave Ribbons much of its flavour, and features some new accouplements for good measure.
On his latest single, 'Sleep On The Wing', a gentle melodic theme is bowed and plucked, capturing the care-free energy and rolling countryside views detailed in the lyrics, which sing of hope in the face of something painful or tragic, and are carried by the softly bittersweet harmonies of the instrumentation. Its title and lyrics, inspired by a swift’s ability to sleep during flight, have been brought to life in a beautiful video animated by Sonnye Lim. The video echoes the lyrics in capturing a sense of joyful freedom in its motif of a swift flying from dark city to rural landscapes as spring turns to summer.
Speaking more in depth about the track, Bibio explains: “Sleep on the Wing started out like many of my tunes, as a guitar pattern. The violin parts followed, doubled up with mandolin and other stringed instruments. Lyrically, I feel that the song has two aspects to it: The idea of being in the wake of a loss, and with hope, continuing the life of someone who has passed, through allowing oneself to be inspired by what they did during their lifetime and what they left behind, whether it’s the things they said, the knowledge they shared or the things they made. The other aspect to the song is perhaps more direct, and talks of escaping the city to find peace in the countryside, but the title is more a celebration of dreaming and the liberating power of imagination, not necessarily a physical escape. Music has the power to inspire dreaming and fuel the imagination, and that’s what I’ve always found so addictive about music. The title track conjured up a bold image in my mind that I shared with the illustrator of the sleeve artwork and the director and animator of the video, both of which turned out more vividly and more beautiful than what I had imagined.”