Kishi Bashi – Lighght Kishi Bashi – Lighght

Kishi Bashi - Lighght

Kishi Bashi – Lighght

Kishi Bashi. Do you know?

I got lucky because I saw him a few years ago opening for Sondre Lerche. Not really knowing anything about Kishi Bashi, I went right to the front while he played and saw him do his one-man-band thing. It was mesmerizing.

I should clarify that he’s not one of those one bass drum in front of him, hi-hat cymbal between his knees, accordion, harmonica types. His weapon of choice is a violin with some kind of loop pedal that is beyond my understanding. I am pretty sure he also uses another loop pedal just for his voice.

I think it’s pretty important to understand that, so you can fathom exactly how much he does by himself. He creates entire orchestras and choruses out of his one voice and a single instrument. Although this album isn’t JUST him, he’s pretty clearly the main guy in the room on it.

I own Kishi Bashi’s EP, “Room for Dream”, and have listened to his Daytrotter session. I’ve also listened to his work with Of Montreal and Regina Spektor, but happened to tuned out his output for the last couple of years so when I saw his record in our review pile, I didn’t jump at it. I waited a few days before I gave it a listen.

Well, that was dumb.

This thing is astonishing, but even better when you realize how much of it is just one guy. But this isn’t a musician review, it’s a record review, so let’s talk about that.

It starts with that violin and builds to a lush orchestra. The songs evoke so many comparisons to Howard Jones, Electric Light Orchestra, Talk Talk, Andrew Bird, The Moody Blues, Of Monsters and Men, Angelo Badalamenti, and so many more, that I could easily pen this review solely through comparisons.

But that would sell Kishi Bashi short, because this is a well-crafted record with serious depth. It’s poppy without being catering or compromising, cinematic in a uniquely remarkable way.

It moves along at a brisk pace, and before you realize it, you’re already more than halfway through. Then the song “Once Upon A Lucid Dream (in Afrikaans)” comes on and you’re, like, “Holy shit! This should be a huge hit!” If you’re going to hear one song from this record that’s the one, but I really gotta tell you, listening to anything on this album in any way without hearing the whole thing end to end would be a mistake. This is one that will stick with you for years.

Highly recommended.

Kishi Bashi – Lighght – Full Album Stream

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