Bibio: Sleep on the Wing
Bibio's latest release reminds listeners that the grass is greener on the other side.
The year 2020 thus far can be best summarized as a months-long army crawl through a briar patch … into a fetid drainage ditch … onto hot asphalt. Within all that frustration and fatigue, it's never been more relieving to settle into a good pair of headphones and good music. Bibio's 11th studio album, Sleep On The Wing, reminds us that the grass is greener on the other side (of the play button). Serenely atmospheric and daydreamily beautiful, multi-instrumentalist and producer Stephen Wilkinson's predominantly instrumental follow-up to 2019's Ribbons is a welcome respite for wearied minds and ears. Close your eyes and you can envision yourself peering pensively through a forest canopy ("Oakmoss," one of the few songs to include Wilkinson's vocals), marveling at the magnitude of a starlit sky ("The Milky Way Over Ratlinghope"), or enjoying an afternoon wagon ride in grainy black and white (the lo-fi "Otter Shadows"). Muddling folk, classical, and ambient electronica (in the vein of Boards of Canada), Sleep On The Wing is soothing and meditative but hardly boring, the musical equivalent of reclining on a picnic blanket or in a hammock after a week's hardships and letting go. — Matt Swanseger