Lighting up the ambient scene once again are Bicep, with their picturesque sophomore album that has been long awaited by fans and tastemakers across the board. After their breakthrough single Glue earned cult status internationally, the Northern-Irish duo stayed out of the public eye and allowed the music itself to revel in stardom.
While their self-titled album changed the ways of mainstream dance music across the world, the pair behind it – Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar – pushed on to deliver Isles, a streak of brilliance in the present day.
Their thoroughly considered approach to production has never failed, and with singles Apricots and Atlas paving the way for their blissfully melodic creations, Isles was one to keep a very close eye on in the months before its release. Apricots – showing a mourning for days past – was a well-timed reflection on the nights that never were, leaving Bicep to channel a raw passion into their already intricate creations with a fresh depth.
Instead of following their trademark big-room feel, the duo veer between genres throughout the project, focusing on their classic decadent pads as a trademark.
Melancholic goodness takes over in tracks like Lido and X, which show a more introspective angle to the Irish pair’s work, which may be an ode to their avoidance of the spotlight. Their collaborations with Clara De San and Julia Kent – Saku and Rever, respectively – dabble in future garage flavours not unlike that of visionary producer Burial, an evident production influence for both tracks. A neon light cuts through the shadows of Isles, namely through Fir which poses as a gleaming beacon of hope – maybe for the days when the album can be heard by crowds, yet bigger and more brilliant.
The technicolour dreamscape that is Bicep’s newest project is hot off the press, yet already carving its classic status. Taking us on a full-circle journey of emotion, the liquid, delicate air to the project is one that can touch the hearts of music fanatics from any genre. The sound of timeless self-reflection is here to stay.
Bicep – Isles is out now and available to buy on Beatport here