Bibio — Vignetting the Compost

Bibio’s sound is at once unique and instantly welcoming. Delicate acoustic guitar lines are looped, phased and bent, layered forwards and in reverse, sculpted into fragile symphonies in miniature. It’s a formula that’s served the British artist well over his past two albums, and earned him accolades from influential friends like electronic outfit Boards of Canada.

Vignetting the Compost finds Bibio pushing at the boundaries of that sound, but only slightly. Where Hand Cranked featured Bibio’s voice on one track, “Flesh Rots, Pip Sown,” “Mr and Mrs Compost” and “Great are the Piths” all feature vocals. The lyrics mix morbid and fanciful imagery, placing the mood squarely in freak-folk territory. “Weekend Wildfire” is buoyant enough to recall Sigur Ros’ “Gobbledigook” — it conjures the spirit of a campfire singalong without the singing. These new touches and refinements won’t be enough to quiet those who accuse Bibio of milking one production trick, but the result is beautiful nonetheless.

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