Joyful Noise Recordings

Kishi Bashi


  • (white vinyl)
  • (black vinyl)


Release Info

Catalog #: JNR92
Release Date: 04/10/2012

Track List

  1. Intro / Pathos, Pathos
  2. Manchester
  3. Bright Whites [MP3]
  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


Kishi Bashi's debut full-length is a bright and soaring avant-pop record written primarily on violin - Kishi Bashi's main instrument which has brought him to record and tour with the likes of Regina Spector, Sondre Lerche, Alexi Murdoch, of Montreal and more. The first two singles "It All Began With a Burst" and "Bright Whites" have already been getting attention from SPIN, Consequence of Sound and more.
Kishi Bashi collaborated with of Montreal's Kevin Barnes on that band's new album, Paralytic Stalks. This last endeavor he credits with some of his most recent musical growth, acknowledging that Barnes pushed him to new heights of creativity, forcing him to explore a broader use of his primary instrument: the violin. This experimentation affected his loop-based live show and led to him write more of the new record with violin rather than piano or guitar, loosening him from the grip of habit and expanding his palette. Kishi Bashi uses Japanese singing as another of many layers, doing so without any trace of gimmickry, and achieving what, to Western ears, must sound like an expression of the ineffable.
After lead track "Intro/Pathos, Pathos," a soaring yet concise amalgam of all that is to come, the record unfolds with a gentle, and somehow grander revisiting of two songs from Room for Dream, reigniting their purpose with subtle variations that serve the larger arc of this new LP. From the deconstructed doo-wop of "Wonder Woman, Wonder Me," a 21st century transmission of Smile-era Brian Wilson to the menacing marriage of Eastern hues and Western operatics in "Beat the Bright out of Me," this album is a mediation between opposing drives, offering possible reconciliation but never promising it. Kishi Bashi played and produced 151a entirely himself.


"A triumphant celebration of joyous noise that combines violin, keyboard and vocal chants to build and swell in ways that would make Animal Collective proud."  -  CMJ

"I really felt like I was witnessing history... in a couple of years we'll be talking about, 'Man, I saw him at this intimate little show."  -  NPR

"Grand and transcendent... the layers of beautiful sound, homage to Japanese culture, and use of violin make 151a a dreamy, pocket-sized symphony, perfect for anyone needing a lift."  -  BUST

"Sumptuous orchestral brilliance... It's a stunningly good record, not merely chirpy, zany, and whimsical-but also packed full of harmonious, heart-stopping beauty. If you can imagine ELO's very best moments combined with Andrew Bird and a bit of weird Bjork introspection-well, even that doesn't really do it justice. Apart from Pet Sounds, perhaps, I can't think of a record that's as singly captivating in its sonic beauty."  -  THE PORTLAND MERCURY

"Kishi Bashi's music sounds surprisingly basic and natural. He's got such a great way of thinking about production and melody that I've yet to hear a bad song from him."  -  YOU AIN'T NO PICASO

"The music is off-kilter, particularly the opening chants and swirl of guitar and drums. The middle section, though, takes a more even-keeled approach to pop, balancing the looped whistles with peaceful, yet evocative vocals."  -  CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

"A weightless, cartwheeling, electro-pop romp that's all fizz and no fuss"  -  SPIN