Kishi Bashi
Emigrant


4.5
superb

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
April 4th, 2021 | 69 replies


Release Date: 04/02/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kishi Bashi reaches into the dusty ol' Americana bag and pulls out another gem.

For those who have not yet listened to Omoiyari - Kishi Bashi's best album hands down - please show yourself out now. I have no further use for you. I guess I'm kidding or something, but the following analogy will certainly be lost on you then: imagine that Kaoru Ishibashi decided to create an entire EP in the same vein as "Annie, Heart Thief of the Sea." That's not a good thing, it's an amazing thing. You see, Omoiyari was the full realization of Kishi Bashi's sound - it was gorgeous, pastoral, resplendent, and a slew of other adjectives that might only apply to Sufjan Stevens. For as much as I enjoyed that record, I often found myself wondering where he'd go next. How could he top the beautifully intertwined romance and urgency of 'Summer of 42'? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the answer was never going to be how he could top it, but it was instead going to be about how he could transform. "Annie, Heart Thief of the Sea" was an oddball closer for such a slickly produced LP - it was grainy, all guitars pluck-y, and the chorus felt like it could be sung at a backyard barbeque somewhere in Nowhere, America. I mean all this in the best way possible of course, because it's one of the best songs he's ever written - simultaneously catchy as hell, authentically rural, and indicative of a possible evolution in his sound. With this Emigrant EP, we witness that evolution starting to take hold. A collection of six tracks, including Dolly Parton and Regina Spektor covers, Emigrant is everything "Annie" was and then some. The acoustic guitars are rhythmically plucked, violins course throughout the EP's veins, fiddles are broken out with enthusiasm, and the rest is left to Ishibashi's mesmerizing harmonies. He's joined by incredible backing vocals from Emily Hope Price and Andrea Demarcus, which allow the melodies to swell and soar across the rustic soundscape. Each song feels like a bare-bones moment meant for life's most quiet, introspective, and contemplative moments. It's a piece of escapism, urging us not only to recognize the simple things in life but also to embrace them. It's really as Ishibashi sings on the somber penultimate 'Those Days are Gone': Soft as a glove, light as a dove...Just the purest of melodies.



s
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user ratings (26)
3.6
great
related reviews

Omoiyari

Sonderlust

Lighght


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
April 4th 2021


37090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wrote this in 15 minutes, probably deserves a more thorough dissection, but I did not want it to go by undetected here.

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Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2021


2160 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review Sowing! I was considering writing a quick review for this one, looks like you touched on a lot of the same points (although your rating suggests you're a bit more enamored of this one than I am). Kishi Bashi is the man, regardless

Anthracks
April 4th 2021


6694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so sad i didn't get the really cool looking vinyl

Digging: Cryptosis - Bionic Swarm

Egarran
April 4th 2021


21829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review. And today I learned about the 'banjola'.

And ok, he can have this venture into hillbilly territory, because the music is always so nice.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 4th 2021


37090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't go into the lyrics here but I'm detecting a lot of similar themes to what we heard on Omoiyari, which is great.

ChoccyPhilly
April 4th 2021


13297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a lot of charm but kind of slips past me at times. I can see it being a grower though

Digging: Solbrud - Vemod

Anthracks
April 4th 2021


6694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

forever limited by the fact that it contains two covers, but the originals are phenomenal

Egarran
April 4th 2021


21829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think Laughing With is one of the better songs here

zaruyache
April 4th 2021


23757 Comments


sounds pretty ima check

bandcamp link:

http://kishibashi.bandcamp.com/album/emigrant-ep

Gyromania
April 4th 2021


32213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wicked! omoiyari is a hard 5

heyadam
April 4th 2021


3758 Comments


hype to check

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2021


24160 Comments


I could never get into this guy (i think I enjoyed one album only?) His posi vibes are overwhelming.

Digging: Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The LSO - Promises

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 5th 2021


37090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dewi that album was probably Lighght, and I agree. You should check Omoiyari. It's an album with themes of love and Japanese internment; his sound will never be "dark" but at least that one's not overwhelmingly positive. The opener kinda is actually lol, but don't let that deter you. Very rich pastoral vibes throughout.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2021


24160 Comments


It was "Lighght" yeah, maybe i should check Sonderlust cause the cover looks like a death metal album lol

Gyromania
April 5th 2021


32213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ also great, but omoiyari is next level

Gyromania
April 5th 2021


32213 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Town of pray" is one hell of a song

Veldin
April 5th 2021


4305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Will check this out. Found him via of Montreal's 'Paralytic Stalks' and really enjoy his work.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2021


34683 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice gonna jam + read soon as I'm clear of Godspeed

Digging: Xiu Xiu - OH NO

Egarran
April 5th 2021


21829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

>His posi vibes are overwhelming.



Aww it's so sad you can't appreciate that.



But yeah Omoiyari is a heartbreaker.

Pikazilla
April 5th 2021


15472 Comments


Americana? Ew.

I love Kishi but why pick one of the worst genres of all time



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