Ayla – Bilbosa (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is an interesting insight into how the internal machinations of music-making, at least the music of Bilbosa, works to be found on this gorgeous and graceful EP. The opening and closing songs are the two versions of recent single Neon, the former featuring vocals from Lori Sky, the latter the original, instrumental version.

Starting at the end, the non-vocal version is a shimmering, drifting piece of indie which once it gets into its groove evolves into a slightly mathy, vaguely proggy, cinematic soundscape. But by extending the quieter beginning, cutting the length, and breadth, of the more expansive and epic section of the song and allowing Lori’s vocals to become the focal point, they turn this perfectly wonderful, yet perhaps less than commercial instrumental…just because most people seem not to be able to manage without something to sing along to…into the perfect, adventurous and experimental indie-folk hit. Two great songs for the price of one!

Between this brace of brilliance, we find the shimmering and slightly more groove-driven Tsuru, a blend of rock riffs and soul licks, energized bass, and waves and washes of synth as well as the liquid blues of 3+4.

The most accessible music can be the smartest music too. The art isn’t about writing music according to accepted templates, it is about writing great music and then, if the mood takes you, knowing how to make a few subtle adaptions and evolutions, additions and edits to turn it into something that the more discerning end of the mainstream will fall in love with. It’s a process that Bilbosa prove to be masters of.

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