Kishi Bashi
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Kishi Bashi

Norfolk, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Norfolk, Virginia, United States | INDIE
Band World Singer/Songwriter

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of Montreal stand out thanks to their avant garde-leaning music, penchant for costume changes, and the fact that there’s seemingly 30 people in the group. However, there’s one aspect of the band that isn’t always obvious: the individual band members. If there’s any of the outfit’s members that deserve some time in the spotlight, it’s Kishi Bashi. In addition to being the band’s strings sensei and touring member, Bashi also nabbed a producing credit on the band’s upcoming 11th LP, Paralytic Stalks. Still, when the record drops on February 7th, he’ll continue to be just another face in the multi-colored crowd. His time to shine, though, comes when he releases his debut solo album, 151a, on April 10th via Joyful Noise.

For an introduction into Bashi’s musical universe, turn no further than the track “Bright Whites”. As he is still an of Montreal member, the music is, for all intents and purposes, off-kilter, particularly the opening chants and swirl of guitar and drums (which sound vaguely familiar to band recordings). The middle section, though, takes a more even-keeled approach to pop, balancing the looped whistles with peaceful, yet evocative vocals. Bashi then rides the song to a seemingly natural conclusion: a jumble of sounds and voices, as if a happy clown were walking a rainbow bridge into the sunset. Take a listen to the track now.

Kishi Bashi – “Bright Whites”

For another taste of 151a, head over to SPIN.com to stream “It All Began With A Burst”. The full album tracklist is listed below.

151a Tracklist:
01. Intro: Pathos, Pathos
02. Manchester
03. Bright Whites
04. It All Began With A Burst
05. Wonder Woman, Wonder Me
06. Chester’s Burst Over The Hamptons
07. Atticus, In The Desert
08. I Am The Antichrist To You
08. Beat The Bright Out Of Me - Consequence of Sound CoS


With the help of a Kickstarter fund that surpassed his original goal by miles, Kishi Bashi — strings guru and recent producer/touring member for the psychedelic circus that is Of Montreal — will release his debut full-length, 151a, on April 10 via Joyful Noise. Check out "It All Began With a Burst," a weightless, cartwheeling electro-pop romp that's all fizz and no fuss:
- SPIN.com


Let’s get Kaoru Ishibashi’s musical credentials out of the way.

An accomplished violinist, he has found work as a session player. He was a touring member of an indie band called of Montreal and performed with Regina Spektor on Kimmel and Letterman.

He was the frontman of Jupiter One. The rock band doesn’t have instant name recognition, but for the millions who’ve played the video games “Madden NFL 08,” “NHL 08” or “Burnout Paradise,” Ishibashi’s songs are familiar enough to hum along to.

He wrote jingles. He worked on the string arrangements for indie bands such as Yeasayer. He played on Katy Perry’s MTV “Unplugged” special.

He’s 36, married, with a 5-year-old daughter. He lived in arguably the most rock ’n’ roll of rock ’n’ roll places: New York City.

But his apartment was so small he couldn’t leave his instruments out when he wasn’t working. Touring was expensive – the high cost of going on the road coupled with the high cost of maintaining life at home.

And he was questioning what success meant in a city like New York. In August, Ishibashi made a decision. If he wanted a rock career, he would have to go solo. And if he was going to go solo, he would have to move.

Ishibashi knew that dozens of people from Hampton Roads relocate to New York each year in search of a glamorized lifestyle. After all, he had taken that path himself after college.

To kick off the next chapter of his life, he decided he would do something less traditional: he would move from New York to Norfolk.
- Virginia Pilot - Ledger Star


Kishi Bashi
From: Norfolk, VA
Why we dig it: Berklee grad Kishi Bashi is in the process of recording his first full-length album, having just landed funding through a grass roots Kickstarter campaign. The accomplished multi-instrumentalist, who has toured with the likes of Katy Perry, of Montreal, Regina Spektor, and his own band Jupiter One, has said that he'd previously felt uncomfortable releasing his solo material due to an unfortunate case of perfectionism. Thankfully, Bashi has accepted that imperfection has a beauty of its own.

Kishi Bashi While Bashi, a.k.a. K. Ishibashi, promises his debut 151a will be "beautiful and lush, intricate and exciting," he must be seen live in order to be fully appreciated. He alone constructs his songs through a loop station, creating a sense of exquisite spontaneity that is at times hilarious (his ode to psuedo-sex, "Just the Tip") and occasionally heartbreaking ("I Am the Antichrist to You"). And then there's his song "Manchester," eight minutes of playful, orchestral gorgeousness that swells into romantic climax. It feels like a gift.
For fans of: Andrew Bird, Regina Spektor, Owen Pallett
Where you can find more: He'll open for of Montreal on the band's upcoming spring tour. Arrive early, if you know what's good for you. Kishi Bashi's EP Room for Dream is available here.
- Zimbio.com


Have you ever wondered what of Montreal might sound like of they still made innocent upbeat songs about tea parties set in fanatical worlds where the creatures were just as likely to be your best friend as they were to eat your children? Instead we get somewhat woefully inconsistent offerings which, admittedly, can be uplifting and downright chipper at times, but too often they’re masked with or have sexual innuendos running through their core. Enter Kishi Bashi, whose music I can’t help but hear as what Kevin Barnes’ might have sounded like had it not been corrupted with all the gender confused split personalities.
I could be forcing this description, or rather, to be more accurate, squeezing it out from one guest spot Barnes has on this four song EP. “Evalyn, Summer Has Arrived” is an upbeat number with swirling violin and enthusiastic strumming that matches the season it namedrops in the title. And Barnes is pretty good in it too, if not for matching Bashi’s admirable range but for also not getting in the way too much and just helping the song along its upbeat trail. If anything, the two seem to play off each other, coiling around each other’s vocal melodies with their falsettos.
The other three songs, however, do have a similarity to Barnes’ earlier work and to his style in general with buoyant rhythms and jaunty melodies and lyrics that can be heavy and specific but never too overbearing. “Manchester” is the story of writing a story which hides a lot of weight on the bridge where he Bashi sings “I haven’t been this alive in a long time,” and releases the energy he builds up. It’s kind of like waking up in a really, really good mood and having one of those immense stretches where you just feel like you’ve had a new dose of life shot through you.
But it’s not all of Montreal-like, though the other comparisons are to other bands that have a cheerful disposition with their music. “Bright Whites” recalls Passion Pit with its repeated high pitched vocal melodies, while the enthusiasm on this track and “Evalyn” can bring to mind a huge collective like I’m From Barcelona. On stage he actually comes to resemble someone like Andrew Bird or Owen Pallet (with a drum machine) and this loosening of the core material does seem to have found its way into the recording studio. As enjoyable as these songs are for all the peculiar pop they have in them, there is certain freedom on exhibition with the structure of the songs as they all feel like good, if not great songs but spread out a bit. “Manchester” and “Conversations at the End of the World” take their time in releasing their builds, making sure to get the most out of the scattered ambience that keeps them together. While this is all fine and makes for that quirky edge, there are times when you’ll find yourself wishing things were tightened up a bit and would hit that mark a bit quicker. The EP runs for only seventeen minutes but it can strangely feel like it’s longer than this, especially when “Conversations” slows down the pace.
“Evalyn,” however, picks the pace right up again and it’s dizzyingly upbeat moments like this that make the EP worth checking out. Even though I’m a bit late to the game (the EP was released back at the end of May) I’m not going to object to having another few songs to soundtrack my summer. Next year though I’ll be sure to let Kishi Bashi announce my summer as soon as I feel that first warming streak of sunlight across my face. - one thirty bpm


Before the show began, I stepped outside for a minute – as it was some of the best weather Seattle has seen since last August, and as I walked back in, I was met with some of the most unique sounds I’ve ever heard in a live setting. This was Kishi Bashi, a friend of Lerche’s from New York, and he was amazing.

Seeing that Kishi Bashi’s recorded stuff is largely made up of layering and synthesizers, the loop pedal was his main instrument on stage – accompanied by a violin (sometimes played as a ukulele), a drum machine, and his unique vocals. He sounds like a mix between an Asian James Mercer and Ezra Koenig. Very hip, and very awesome. - popwreckoning.com


My introduction to violinist/singer-songwriter K. Ishibashi (or Kishi Bashi as he goes by when he's playing) at Sondre Lerche's Bowery Ballroom was a godsend. It's always refreshing to find someone to take an instrument like the violin and elevate it to a much more accessible and yet awe-inspiring level. I don't know much about Kishi Bashi other that he is also a member of Brooklyn based band Jupiter One with drummer Dave Heilman (Sondre Lerche's backing drummer).

For those introduced to Kishi Bashi's songs through his live shows, you're in for a bit of a surprise on his Room For Dream EP. Filled with sparkling arrangements, it's a bit easier to digest without the added shock and awe of seeing K. sing, play, cue loops, change instruments and other feats of technical precision. "Bright Waves" even with it's random Japanese lyrics has this feeling that maybe you've heard it before without actually sounding tired or done before.

Room For Dream though a short 4 track EP, has all bases covered with the complex folk gem "Manchester", orchestrated ballad "Conversations at the End of the World", vaguely poppy, easily accessible "Bright Waves", and and genre-bending "Evalyn, Summer Has Arrived" that manages to mash up rock with old school counterpoint that also features Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes. It's a strong set of tunes that really only makes you thirst for more. Here's hoping there's a full length from Kishi Bashi coming out soon because until that day, you're sure to have Room For Dream on repeat.

You can listen to Kishi Bashi's EP at his Bandcamp.


Kishi Bashi is currently on tour with Sondre Lerche but if you're in the New York City area, he has a solo show on July 6th at the Rockwood Music Hall. - All Around Sound


Listen to this track by Seattle-born, New York-based singer, violinist, loop technician, Of Montreal string-arranger and touring member, and songwriter K Ishibashi, aka Kishi Bashi. It’s the sumptous-yet-spacious “Manchester”, an impressionistic and post-modern narrative about a narrative as taken from the EP Room For Dream.

The song is the opening track on the EP, an ever-expanding soundscape that is, at once, airy, organic, and with a touch of hopefulness balanced against melancholy. Musically, the song is an amalgam of pan-cultural textures, from sparse Far-East flavouring, to western classical aesthetics, and delivered in the similar kind of cinematic orchestral pop packaging as a Mercury Rev, or Flaming Lips.


After seeing Kishi Bashi perform as an opening act for Sondre Lerche (and then join Lerche’s ensemble as a backing musician on violin, guitar, and keyboards) at the Biltmore Theatre here in Vancouver, I had a chat with him via email about the business of cultural crossover, about the importance of location in the songwriting process, and about what Beethoven would have made of loop technology.

***

The Delete Bin: “Manchester” was written in that city (in the UK), and was finished in Australia.What was it about those locations that helped you to conceive of it, write it, finish it, and present it?

Kishi Bashi: It was my first time in Manchester, and England in general was still very exotic to me. It was kind of gritty and had a very colorful spirit. I was suffering from insomnia and I just felt compelled to create at that moment. it was a very creative time for me, despite the insomnia.

In Australia, I was blessed with the opportunity to open up for Regina Spektor in a kind of acoustic way, and I forced myself to complete this song because it showed a lot of promise. I chose the mostly-string arrangement because I was looking inward to find out my strengths, and I figured out pretty quickly that I had always been very comfortable with the violin.

Another real reason that the song was completed was because I wanted to start my set with just strings. But my cellist friend Daniel Cho who was gracious enough to play with me every night (for free), wanted to casually stroll out towards the end of my set and not be stuck on stage for the entire set. I had to make another solo number song that would work on solo violin. Unfortunately Daniel Cho drowned last summer while on tour with me, so this whole experience in Australia was extra special for me.

DB: This tune references the act of writing a story, which means that it’s a narrative inside of another narrative. What’s your take on how music and storytelling converge, and how does this play into how you approach presenting songs as a musician and songwriter?

KB: I’ve always been a musician first for some reason. I have a strong classical background, and from there, I went on to study jazz, and mainly instrumental music. I really haven’t been paying much attention to lyrics until very recently. Lyrics always played second fiddle to melodic shape, harmonic content, and production.

Of course, I now know that lyrics are just as important to a listener, if not more, than the music. I was touring with Regina at the time, and I think I was influenced a bit by her approach to lyrics, which tend to be simple, but very exciting and insightful.

DB: Cellist Yoed Nir joins you on this track. He’s another musician who crosses over from classical music, to folk, to pop, an back again. How did his involvement come about on this project?

KB: He’s fantastic! I also met him through touring with Regina. He’s great because he’s a got a lot of ideas. He also has the skills to play the ideas that I present him as well.

DB: Instrumentally speaking, you’re primarily a violinist, although you play other instruments. How does centering your work around the violin unlock compositional possibilities for yourself, as opposed to writing around a guitar, or piano?


Jupiter One; K's *other* band

KB: For the several years I had been writing for Jupiter One, I had always mistreated the violin as my “money” instrument. I always assumed songs should be written on guitar or piano, because it’s easier that way. For this solo project, however, I’m really embracing the uniqueness and challenges that a violin based songwriting approach favors.

With the exception of “Manchester”, the other songs had pretty much been written on guitar or piano. Coming out of this tour, where i had to recreate most of my guitar based songs on violin loops, I’m definitely beginning to experiment with a more harmonically simpler loop-based song writing style.

DB: You studied film scoring and orchestral composition, which comes through on this tune, and on other songs on Room For Dream. How does your use of technology in real time onstage contrast with your experiences in formal study?

KB: For several songs live, I make 4-5 voice orchestral loops to sing on. I think the counterpoint/harmony classes definitely help me achieve this. What really helped was the jazz improvisation studies that I had immersed myself earlier in life. I remember practicing lots of arpeggios through jazz chord changes and then pentatonics in all keys. I just improvise the arrangements, which is always fun for me, and I discover live which ones are better, and I try and improve on them.

DB: What was the learning process like working with that set-up, and perhaps also having to be ready to be your own IT guy while performing?

KB: At first, it was exciting and terrifying at the same time. Basically, when I met up with Sondre Lerche in Toronto to open up for him, and it was really a rough start for me. It was my second show that I had ever done, depending on live loops like this. There were several moments where my loops were out of control or I had just mis-triggered and erased what I had just recorded.

The interesting thing about performing solo is that you can literally bring the performance to a screeching halt all by yourself. I remember in Toronto (to a pretty large crowd) I got the crowd really worked up by really struggling with a particular loop (I remember I had started and stopped it several times). They were cheering me on by the end of it! “You can do it!”; that kind of thing. Twenty-five shows later at the El Ray Theatre in Los Angeles, I was much more relaxed and my set was a million times smoother.

I remember seeing Andrew Bird a long time ago, and he had stopped a loop mid-creation, and I just remembered that it was very cool to see him make a mistake. I think people, musicians and non-musicians appreciate the fact that I’m trying something fairly complicated and that it could literally fall apart at any moment.

DB: You’ve toured with Of Montreal as an integral member of that band, with Regina Spektor’s touring band, and now with Sondre Lerche. How does your work as a supporting musician feed your own ideas when it comes to performance and recording on your own?


On stage with Of Montreal (Photo: Kmeron, http://www.musicfromthepit.com/)

KB: I’ve been lucky enough to work with some truly inspiring artists lately. Sondre and Regina, on top of being phenomenal songwriters, are also fierce solo performers. They’ve been commanding large audiences solo for years. They don’t even need a band! It takes a true showman (or showperson?) to really be at that level, and I really admire and respect that.

Of Montreal‘s been one of my favorite bands for years, and I’m totally thrilled to be a part of their family. Their performance ethic is ridiculously strong. They feel that they need to shock and blow people’s minds with sensory overload, all the while delivering some damn good songs.

Kevin Barnes (who also, for the most part, makes the Of Montreal albums all by himself), is a studio whiz! He’s taught me a lot about production and fidelity (the audio kind), and I’ve learned some very valuable tips on how to stay inspired and remain creative. He’s also a kind of a genius poet, so he’s inspired me to write better lyrics.

We were drunk once in Florida somewhere after a show, and he shook me and said something to the effect of: ” K, your lyrics are horrible. I’m worried about you!!” I’ve taken it to heart, and I’ve made it a top priority to focus on lyrics the next time around.

DB: You’ve got a lot of projects on the go; as a support player, a solo performer, and as a part of other bands, like Jupiter One. Where does a full-length solo album figure into your plans?

KB: It’s hard to make an album while touring, but I’ll hopefully have something that I’ll be proud of by the end of the year

***

Thanks, K!

For more information, click through to the Kishi Bashi official site. From here, you can ‘Like’ on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and buy the Room For Dream EP.

Enjoy! - The Delete Bin


Though the crowd for Tuesday’s show at the 9:30 club in D.C. may have been for headliner Sondre Lerche, those who arrived early were quickly won over by openers Kishi Bashi and Nightlands.

Kishi Bashi, or K, might be a familiar face for those who have seen him on tour with Of Montreal. In fact, the track “Evalyn, Summer Has Arrived” on his EP, Room for Dream, features Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes. But don’t write off Kishi Bashi if Of Montreal’s psychedelic afrobeat electronica pop (plus a few other genres) music is too much for you. Kishi Bashi’s tunes (all streaming live at kishibashi.bandcamp.com) are much more mellow and would easily appeal to fans of Sondre Lerche.

The most impressive aspect of K’s set was that while he took the stage alone, he managed to produce a sound as big as that on his EP. The frontman for Nightlands later commented on the impressiveness of K’s one-man show, which was filled with an impressive display of violin and loop mastery. He played tracks like “Bright Whites” and “Manchester” from the EP as well as a few unrecorded others. He signed off his song about “cheating” with a middle finger and a laugh; at this point the crowd was already bobbing along to the synth beats. But, when he began “Just the Tip” (yes, that is what it’s about), the audience was completely won over.

Nightlands, a band from Philadelphia, took the stage second, following Kishi Bashi with another round of easy listening. With a combination of harmonies, reverb and a little bit of folk rock, they were a pleasant final opener for Sondre Lerche.

The club was completely silent as Lerche took the stage. Backed by Kishi Bashi on the keyboard/violin, Nightlands Dave Hartley on the bass, and drummer Dave Heilman, Lerche started with “Ricochet” from his new self-titled album. The Tuesday show was particularly noteworthy as it was the release day of this album (“Is anyone from the White House here to celebrate with me?” he joked.).

Lerche played a mix of new and old music, all of which the crowd responded to positively. Of course, it was the old favorites that garnered the most sing-a-longs. In between the newer “Never Mind the Typos” (one of my favorites from the new album), and classics “Faces Down” and “Dead Passengers,” Lerche wooed the crowd with his charming commentary — as if we weren’t already obsessed with him. His acoustic rendition of “My Hands are Shaking” and dynamic performance of “Phantom Punch” were the best of the evening. By the time he closed with “Modern Nature” (the female accompaniment sung sweetly by the crowd), we were wishing he hadn’t been joking earlier when he offered to play his whole new album for us.

Needless to say, the show at the 9:30 Club was an impressive display of new and old talents. By the end of the night, one was hoping that Lerche’s next album would follow a similar successful trajectory as the others and that Kishi Bashi would soon produce for us an LP. We’re ready for more than “just the tip,” Kishi Bashi, and we’ll be eagerly awaiting a larger body of work. - The Johns Hopkins Newsletter


The first opener, Kishi Bashi, started his set with just a violin; looping the tracks to make some crazy orchestral noise (well, quite melodic noise). It was fun and interesting and I was enjoying it quite a bit but then he dropped some of the looped tracks making the music a little simpler and started to sing (while still playing the violin). If I was a cartoon character my jaw would have dropped. His voice was beautiful and the vocal melody weaving in and out of the violin lines was wonderful. He finished the song to incredible applause, especially considering his time slot and relative anonymity (though he plays violin with Of Montreal). The next song was a similar format, this time looping vocal tracks until it was insane then dropping some tracks and going into another great song. He used a guitar, drum pad, violin and his voice to make varied and well textured music. In the middle of the set he announced he was selling some four song EPs but was almost sold out. We found out later, when Kishi Bashi was back on stage accompanying Sondre Lerche, that he did sell out. - Spinningplatters.com


We recently got sent a copy of Of Montreal and Regina Spektor multi-instrumental maestro K Ishibashi’s debut solo EP Room for Dream, and were most pleasantly surprised by what we heard. It’s an assured and polished debut, and makes Ishibashi the latest heir to a long rock’n’roll tradition: the sideman/woman who stepped out of the shadows and proved themselves a fine songwriter in their own right. Here’s a selection of ten examples from the annals of contemporary music.

In fairness, Ishibashi is no stranger to standing center stage – he fronts NYC-based combo Jupiter One. But still, Room for Dream is his solo debut, and thus marks his first journey into the spotlight alone. And it’s really good. The airy string textures of “Manchester” recall some of Owen Pallett’s more restrained moments, while joyous African-influenced single “Bright Whites” should be a fine choice for summer mixtapes everywhere, and Kevin Barnes lends his decidedly funky bass playing to “Evalyn, Summer Has Arrived”. Well worth investigating. - Flavorwire


It’s fun. It’s light. It’s a bit fruity. It’s not Fresca. It’s Kishi Bashi’s Bright Whites. The mysterious artist (perhaps not mysterious to others more adept at Googling up-and-coming artists than I) has burst upon the scene and is quickly proving to be a show-stopper. He is currently touring a wide range of US cities – so check him out before he passes through (I speak regretfully – as he came through DC, opening up for Sondre Lerche, and I totally missed my chance).

Although all his songs are enjoyable, my favorite, and one of “K’s” most popular tracks, is Bright Whites. The four-minute tune offers listeners an addictive hybrid sound spanning Native-American-like-yelps, campfire-tune-hand-clapping, and electro-tech-twist. The total product is somewhere between Sondre Lerche and Of Montreal – both bands with whom the artist has collaborated with.

Kishi Bashi dives into Bright Whites with an energetic chorus of yips, followed by his smooth voice singing… something? I’m going to leave the lyrics up to you – both the artist’s bio and lingo escapes me even after listening to the song about a dozen times consecutively (yes, it’s that good).

The specifics I caught?

“you and me at the edge of the world…”

“and if you smile at me… I could fly by land or sea…”

The sense I get? In general? You’ve got a guy. A girl. Potential. A journey. Y’know, the tried and true themes of everyone’s dreams, just put to a snazzier soundtrack than you might be able to generate on your own. My suggestion? Give it a listen (or several). You won’t regret it. And if you figure out who this guy is, let me know. The more I can get of him the better. - Panic Manual


Discography

151a (debut album coming out on Joyful Noise Recordings April 10, 2012)

Room For Dream EP (released on Aerobic International 5/31/2011)

Photos

Bio

On Kishi Bashi’s debut full length, 151a, the songwriter expands on the majestic sound of his Room for Dream EP (Aerobic International), teasing out the baroque mysteries suggested in those songs while sharpening focus. Since the release of Room for Dream, K Ishibashi has toured with Sondre Lerche, Alexi Murdoch, and of Montreal, collaborating as producer with oM’s Kevin Barnes on that band’s new album, Paralytic Stalks. This last endeavour, Ishibashi 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. Ishibashi uses Japenese 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 this foundation the record candidly affirms its suggested dialectic, a dance between the earthbound materialism of captured art and its airy origins, in the give and take of “It All Began With a Burst.” The song appropriately struggles for take-off, whispering its intentions in washes of synthesizer that threaten to drown the claps and voices struggling to emerge, until a fragile harmony is realized in a bass-driven dance beat and desperately triumphant vocals.

From the deconstructed doo-wop of “Wonder Woman, Wonder Me,” a 21st century transmission of Smile-era Brian Wilson that is both lush and blushingly naked to the menacing marriage of Eastern hues and Western operatics that is the Blade Runner-like trance of “Beat the Bright out of Me,” this album is a mediation between opposing drives, offering possible reconciliation but never promising it. A nuanced awareness of inherent contradiction is constant in all of these songs, at turns jubilant, as in “Chester’s Burst Over the Hamptons,” a frenetic violin driven gallop full of stabs of sound and classical vocal harmonics that resolves in a synth and string composition worthy of Bach or Vangelis, and lamentable, most pronounced in the sweet despair of “I Am the Antichrist to You,” which layers the delicate vocal melodies of the best of post-Beatles pop over a somber and beautiful New Age string arrangement.

If “I Am the Antichrist to You” is tragedy, then “Atticus, in the Desert” is comedy, albeit dark, bouncing and whistling with the acceptance of romantic failure, reaching for a fuller, more compassionate survey of the landscape. Starting with the admission, couched in the layered a capella not done so well since Queen, that “as twins we create an era, two souls in bright Sahara,” a tale is told, over bright symphonic gypsy pop, of a doomed affair, and yet there is a palpable sense of acceptance and even enjoyment in the suffering.

It is fitting that, during the conception of this record, Ishibashi was mindful of the Japanese term “ichi-go ichi-e,” a recognition of life’s transience, sometimes translated as “for this time only.” Acknowledging that each moment happens only once, ichi-go ichi-e, reminds one to invest fully in these moments but also to let go of their outcome. It is in this practice that one opens the portals to both creativity and love and the results are clearly in evidence throughout this record with its synthesis of disparate formal elements and its unnerving look at contradiction.