New Finds: Kishi Bashi


New Finds: Kishi Bashi discovered / written by CorinneF.

Singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer, K Ishibashi (aka Kishi Bashi) recently released his first solo full-length album, 151a. His name might not ring a bell with top indie, but his affiliation with Of Montreal and Jupiter One might jog your memory. Kishi Bashi released an EP, Room For Dream, in 2011 and it gave a good taste of what was to come for this outside-of-the-box musician.

I’ve had the fortunate pleasure of seeing Kishi Bashi open for Nightlands and Sondre Lerche, and I can attest to his knack for violin and vocal looping. Usually artists who perform by themselves are playing an acoustic set with their lonesome guitar, which can lose my attention if each song relies on the same five chords. But Kishi Bashi continued to hold my attention with shimmering sounds that made me long for the 60s when psychedelics were commonplace.

Even without a drug-induced state, Kishi Bashi’s 151a took me on a ride through ethereal realms right off the bat with “Intro/Pathos Pathos.” The orchestral introduction sets the tone for what’s to follow without sounding antiquated in the least bit. The track quickly transitions into a chugging beat layered with indiscernible background vocals that weave underneath lyrics about reuniting in a fit of passion.


Keeping with the glowing angelic rhythms, the album’s second track, “Manchester” really displays Kishi Bashi’s smooth voice.  It’s such a perfect accompaniment to his violin arrangements. This song truly shows how a violin can be applicable to current music. It begs me to pose this question: why aren’t more artists utilizing the violin in their music?! It’s a damn shame, but that just makes Kishi Bashi’s talent shine even more brightly.

The second to last song on the album, “I Am the Antichrist to You,” says it all in the title. Kishi Bashi’s falsetto against the background of the short, quick-moving violin is powerful with a dark sense of urgency. This is the type of song that would be epic in a concert hall or church, but the title would probably discourage any church from allowing that to happen.

In summation, 151a is incomparable to anything I’ve heard, showcasing Kishi Bashi’s imagination and ingenuity when it comes to making music. I’m looking forward to seeing the evolution of his sound as his solo career continues.

“Manchester” lyrics:

i wrote me a book
i hid the last page
i didn't even look
i think i locked it in a cage
wrote a novel
cause everybody likes to read a novel...  

it started with a word,
and it started pretty well
about a rare and fragile bird that I couldn't even spell
on the table
i think i left it on the table...  

i found the last page in the sky,
cold and sweet, like an apple  

oh hello,
will you be mine?
i haven't felt this alive in a long time
all the streets are warm today  

i read signs
i haven't been this in love in a long time
the sun is up, the sun will stay  

The very last breath of the hero of our tale
would you only to guess
did he truly prevail
in the the sequel?
I guess I'll have to write a sequel...  

my favorite part's when I die
in your arms like a movie
it's tragic, but now the story has it's proper end.  

oh hello,
will you be mine?
i haven't felt this alive in a long time
all the streets are warm and grey  

i read the signs
I haven't been this in love in a long time
the sun is up the sun will stay
all for the new day  

will you be mine?
the days are short and I wrote me my last rhyme
all the streets are warm today
I read the signs
I haven't been in this love in a long time.  

it's been a long time


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