Exposé Online banner

Led Bib — It's Morning
(RareNoise RNR108, 2019, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-03-28

It's Morning Cover art

This album (the band’s eighth) brings big changes for Led Bib. The band has always consisted of Mark Holub (drums), Liran Donin (bass), and Toby McLaren (keyboards) with the dual alto saxes of Pete Grogan and Chris Williams. It’s Morning finds McLaren departed, replaced by Elliot Galvin, and adds vocalist Sharron Fortnam, apparently as a full member of the band, and features guests on violin, cello, bass clarinet, and backing vocals. The addition of vocals isn’t the only change — on the whole, the music is much more atmospheric and moody, without the energetic tendencies that made earlier albums so exciting. McLaren had always concentrated on electric piano for much of his playing, but Galvin brings in lots of synths and acoustic piano, with several passages of odd electronic sounds and meandering synth lines. On previous albums, tracks were credited to individual band members as composers, but everything on It’s Morning is attributed to the group as a whole, with most of the lyrics by Fortnam, who is also involved with North Sea Radio Orchestra (though she doesn’t appear on Folly Bololey). Her singing is not traditionally jazzy, though it doesn’t sound at all out of place in this setting. In some ways, the album sounds like a long-lost Canterbury session that could have involved people from Soft Machine, Matching Mole, National Health, and Caravan — or more simply, a Robert Wyatt album only with someone like Barbara Gaskin doing the singing. At first, I was quite disoriented by It’s Morning, as it sounds so little like Led Bib’s previous work, but once I set aside my preconceptions (still an ongoing process, I’ll admit), I find it a strange and wonderful album. The song “Flood Warning” is what sealed the deal for me. This track starts with an odd synth sequence and breathy vocal melody harmonized by the saxophones, and when the drums come it, Holub is playing completely free-form, in waves and tumbles of drums and cymbals. Donin’s bass joins in with the sequence, but varies it, occasionally wandering off into fuzzy weirdness, but Fortnam and the sax harmonies carry on serenely as if the chaos of the bass and drums isn’t happening at all. I’ve never heard anything quite like it, and it is glorious.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Led Bib

More info
http://ledbib.bandcamp.com/album/its-morning

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Michel Sajrawy - Yathrib – The nine tracks presented on Yathrib not only attempt to bridge Arabic traditional composition forms, western jazz idioms and progressive rock, they also bridge the cultural differences (Christian,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues