rginia native Kishi Bashi (aka Kaoru Ishibashi) is an ace violinist who’s lent his talents to Regina Spektor, of Montreal and Sondre Lerche. He’s also a founding member of Electro Pop outfit Jupiter One, but more recently he has stepped out as a solo artist.
Kishi Bashi’s full-length debut, 151a — which he arranged, performed and recorded all on his own — surfaced in 2012, replete with violin-laced Pop soundscapes that range from ethereal to impressively textured foot-stompers. Now comes the recently minted Lighght, named for a one-word poem by minimalist poet Aram Saroyan — a curious choice given the expansive, often maximalist nature of Kishi Bashi’s songs.
“There’s a lot of high-quality performances, but for the most part, they’re Pop songs,” Ishibashi recently told Heyreverb.com. “I also tried some different songwriting techniques. It definitely sounds better sonically. My daughter likes it better.”
It’s hard to argue with his daughter. “The Ballad of Mr. Steak” opens with a relatively spare violin riff, but it’s not long before a driving drum beat and sugary synths kick in and the tune blasts off into what sounds like Phoenix by way of Animal Collective. “Carry on Phenomenon” is even catchier, as Bashi’s high-pitched croon and the song’s shimmering sonics channel prime-era Shins. Then there’s “Q&A,” an acoustic-based, Bon Iver-esque ode to Ishibashi’s wife that’s somehow simultaneously intimate and otherworldly.
Athens, Ohio’s orchestral Indie Folk ensemble The Ridges will open the show. The band, which has become a Cincinnati favorite with frequent performances in the area, recently opened for Kishi Bashi in North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania and is excited to join forces again.
“We couldn’t possibly be happier to share the stage once again with one of our absolute favorite musicians,” Ridges frontman Victor Rasgaitis says. “This show is sure to be something truly special.”
KISHI BASHI and THE RIDGES perform Thursday, Aug. 28 at Oakley's 20th Century Theater. Find tickets/more info here .