From the Homeric invocation of ethereal opener Atom Story, it becomes stunningly clear that It’s Morning, the latest album from the uncategorizable UK ensemble Led Bib, is meant to take the listener on a journey. The wide-ranging and evocative set is also a testament to the distance the band has travelled on its own evolutionary path. If not the endpoint, it at least sits at a far-flung guidepost along a transformative odyssey undertaken by the eclectic ensemble.
Led Bib has long been renowned for its skronky, livewire fusion of exploratory jazz improvisation with the brute force of heavy rock and the labyrinthine architecture of prog. It’s Morning retains an identifiable sense of adventure and virtuosity while marking a vast departure from previous recordings, veering into the realm of elusive, poetic narrative and lysergic beauty.
The most immediately apparent change from past Led Bib outings is the addition of vocals, folding the band’s boundary-stretching vocabulary into gorgeous if complex song forms. The band’s core line-up – drummer Mark Holub, bassist Liran Donin, saxophonists Chris Williams and Pete Grogan, and new keyboardist Elliot Galvin – are joined by a pair of gifted vocalists: Sharron Fortnam, a co-founder of the North Sea Radio Orchestra whose intoxicating mezzo soprano has also graced recordings by the noted British prog-punk band Cardiacs; and Jack Hues, best known as frontman for the 80s new wave band Wang Chung.
Bookended by a pair of atmospheric miniatures that frame the album as an imaginative Odyssey, It’s Morning embarks on an immersive quest over psychedelic seas. That sense will only be amplified in live performances, when the music will be supplemented by a concert length film created by filmmaker Dylan Pecora. Pecora has made a film which explores and expands upon the album and in live performances it will be manipulated by VJ Oli Chilton.