Bicep has just released a new single Meli (II) on the back of their set at the West Holts stage st Glastonbury at the weekend. As the press release notes, the set delivered "on their promise that the live versions of ‘Isles’ would be 'much, much harder'".
I haven't seen Bicep's Friday night closing set in full yet (so much to catch up with on BBC iPlayer) but, on the strength of their performance of Meli (II), it's a triumph.
Meli (I) appeared last April as the last of three bonus songs on the deluxe edition of debut album Isles. I remembered that Bagging Area had featured it at the time and was drawn back to Swiss Adam's original post. Adam described Meli (I) as "all textures and atmosphere [...] and could easily be twice as long without losing anything" whilst fellow blogger Echorich commented that the song "seems like a musical probe sent out to search for new sounds, leaving a trail of where they've been in afterburner smoke and vapor".
I think Bicep exceed all expectations with Meli (II). The song is stretched out to double the length of its predecessor and still feels like it could go on and on; you get an extra minute on the Glastonbury version but I could easily lose myself for quarter of an hour in the pulsing, surging, sweeping sounds.
Taking Echorich's comment to a ridiculous extreme - and apologies in advance for the clumsy analogy with a rather crap film - but it's like the bit in Star Trek: The Motion Picture where Kirk and co. finally twig that the energy cloud they've encountered is in fact Voyager 6, a 20th century space probe coming home after 300 years having become sentient along the way.
Meli (II) has been on a shorter journey and, let's be honest, in the real world, but it really feels like the song has evolved way beyond it's origins. Magnificent.
You can buy Meli (II) and Meli (I), as well as a treasure trove of previous releases, on Bicep's Bandcamp page right now.