The album entitled "Lighght" (pronounced "Light") continues and expands the sound of his critically acclaimed debut, "151a" - which earned Kishi Bashi the title of "Best New Artist" by NPR. Since the profoundly successful release of "151a" two years ago, Kishi Bashi has toured relentlessly, captivating audiences across the globe with his loop-based live show, and fostering a groundswell of devotees.
"151a" was crafted over a four-year period while Kishi Bashi was touring and recording with Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and of Montreal (where he was a full-time member and co-producer). In late 2012, after the success of "151a", Kishi Bashi decided to focus solely on his own music and began composing the new material which has become "Lighght".
"Lighght" takes its title from the one-word poem by minimalist poet Aram Saroyan. As Kishi Bashi explains, "The poem's blatant assault on literary convention and classical form was attractive to me." It is apparent that such an approach informed the new album, which has both broadened and redefined his classical foundations. "Though I have studied classical composition, I prefer to take an unconventional path when it comes to creating and thinking about music," says Kishi Bashi.
Though violin remains his primary instrument and songwriting muse, Kishi Bashi has expanded his palette to include more diverse and nuanced instrumentation. Bright and soaring avant-pop songs are prevalent, as are Eastern-tinged arrangements, gentle ballads, Philip Glass inspired improvisations, and more than a few moments that flirt with 70s prog (in the tradition of ELO or Yes).
If this sounds jarringly kaleidoscopic, that's because it is. But it works. Listen and see.