Kishi Bashi: Lighght (Inertia)

 |   |  <1 min read

Kishi Bashi: In Fantasia
Kishi Bashi: Lighght (Inertia)

The debut album 151a two years ago by Seattle's songwriter/violinist Kaoru Ishibashi was an impressively upbeat-then-melancholy collection, equally confident in dance pop as melodrama.

Here he's barely fiddled with the formula of early Mika/Empire of the Sun-meets-Of Montreal, although on Carry On Phenomenon he's dangerously close to Supertramp which, to these ears, is rarely a good thing.

Ishibashi delivers mostly elevating baroque pop with some ELO-like orchestration to make it glamorous beneath the glitterball, but this time he also gets more ambitious on material like Bittersweet Genesis For Him And Her which opens as a spoken word piece and crams considerable poetry and personal philosophy into fewer than four minutes.

Hats off though, you don't often hear “synesthesia” in a pop lyric.

He again gets on a folksy McCartney tip for Q&A, and the final third – especially the delightful seven minute In Fantasia -- is Brian Wilson-cum-prog.

These many references warn that Ishibashi leans heavily on pop's past. Nothing wrong with that, but this time you don't get the same frisson of excitement because these are paths well travelled.

If those names mean nothing to you though, you'll find this interesting and clever. And, pastiches aside, it is.

Share It

Your Comments

Kyle - Jul 25, 2014

If you want to see just how talented this artist is, watch this NPR Radio tiny desk concert youtube. The way he uses looping and speeding up and slowing down music is fantastic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgqAmZHkkTg

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Smog: Rock Bottom Riser (EMI)

Smog: Rock Bottom Riser (EMI)

Smog is the astonishingly prolific Bill Callahan who has moved from a deliberately untutored style into what might be loosely considered alt.country. This four track EP (with Jim White, Joanna... > Read more

Nick Lowe; At My Age (Proper) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Nick Lowe; At My Age (Proper) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

To be honest, I consider Nick Lowe's '98 album Dig My Mood so outstanding that anything he does subsequently will pale in the comparison. By the time of that album, the former English pub-rocker... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Boz Scaggs; Silk Degrees

THE BARGAIN BUY: Boz Scaggs; Silk Degrees

These days singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs is more of a jazzman -- as witnessed by his album Speak Low of 2008. But in the mid Seventies, in those days just before disco started turning into a formula... > Read more

THE MUSICIAN: A Fairly True Tale

THE MUSICIAN: A Fairly True Tale

The young man settled himself into the chair and placed his new guitar case on the floor beside him. His face raised into a natural if boyish smile, the outline of his cheeks rimmed by a flat, soft... > Read more