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

Lesley Gore: Boys Boys Boys (Ace/Border)

Lesley Gore: Boys Boys Boys (Ace/Border)

When this great, early Sixties pop sensation died in February 2015 a newsreader on New Zealand television began the item with, “You won't have heard of her but . . . “ That kind... > Read more

Foxygen: . . . and Star Power (Jagjaguwar)

Foxygen: . . . and Star Power (Jagjaguwar)

There are such a lot of borrowed clothes being donned by this LA duo of Jonathan Rado and Sam France -- plus the various star power pals from Of Montreal, Flaming Lips and others -- that you either... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LORDE: REISSUED ALREADY? (2018): Lorde's business is big business

LORDE: REISSUED ALREADY? (2018): Lorde's business is big business

Pop picking is a fast'n'furious business these days and, as Art Garfunkel memorably sang on his Graceland album, “Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts”. But just as... > Read more

THE ORANGE BALLROOM (2016): The dance begins again

THE ORANGE BALLROOM (2016): The dance begins again

The actual name of the place is the Orange Coronation Hall and it was the lodge for the Irish Protestant Orangemen in Auckland. But everyone knows it as the Orange Ballroom, the name apparently... > Read more