Album Reviews

Kishi Bashi: 151a

Kishi Bashi

What to say about Kishi Bashi? He tours with Of Montreal and Regina Spektor. He’s a founding member of Jupiter One. A side project of his called Cop Gravy will release its debut EP later this year on Joyful Noise (the same label that put out this LP). So to call Kishi Bashi new to the music scene would be false. He is a well-versed, well-traveled, and in fact quite notable multi-instrumentalist.

Kishi Bashi is actually a stage name; his real name is K Ishibashi.

Upon first listen, 151a, Kishi Bashi’s new LP, seems a mashup between more recent Of Montreal and more melodic, less grating Animal Collective and fronted by one reminiscent of Rufus Wainright. Most songs feature dreamy psychedelic music plush with playful guitars, mystical harps and an array of non-traditional pop instruments.

“Manchester” is an early standout, lighter than most and filled with more emotion. It is followed by “Bright Whites”, a song that’s filled with more experimentation. These two songs represent all that Kishi Bashi presents: soft, pleasant pop songs and wild, playful experimental ones. “It All Began With A Burst” follows the path of the latter, and is ultimately one of the album’s most prized tracks.

Then there’s the Styx-ish, anthemic “Atticus, In The Desert”, opening with highly melodic, harmony vocals. The two polar opposite sounds work together extremely well, and Kishi Bashi takes full advantage of this, flickering between the two sounds freely throughout 151a. It all ends with “Beat The Bright Out Of Me”, a song that begins with a somewhat psychedelic drone. Then Kishi Bashi adds in more of those epic, anthemic vocals we heard in “Atticus”.

Earlier, I noted a few recognizable names. My advice: ignore them. Kishi Bashi’s 151a is easily one of the more unique, entirely original albums you’ll hear this year.

Download: “It All Began With A Burst” by Kishi Bashi

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Download: “Bright Whites” by Kishi Bashi

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151a by Kishi Bashi

1. Intro / Pathos, Pathos
2. Manchester
3. Bright Whites
4. It All Began With A Burst
5. Wonder Woman, Wonder Me
6. Chester’s Burst Over The Hamptons
7. Atticus, In The Desert
8. I Am The Antichrist To You
9. Beat The Bright Out Of Me

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