I recently had the opportunity to see Kishi Bashi live, and was instantly enraptured by his music. 151a is a collection of almost hauntingly beautiful songs in a vein that could be compared to Andrew Bird or Jónsi.
151a kicks off with "Intro/Pathos, Pathos," a brilliant combination of traditional orchestral sounds and electronic/synthesized sounds. "Manchester" continues the feel and features the gorgeous line: "My favorite part's when I die//in your arms like a movie." Although "Manchester" is just over four minutes long, it feels like it could go on longer. The tempo picks up in "Brighter Whites," a song which is catchier and slightly less ethereal than the preceding songs.
The strongest track in my opinion is "It All Began With A Burst," which is memorable and musical. The pace slows down again with "Wonder Woman, Wonder Me," only to pick back up on "Chester's Burst Over The Hamptons." "Chester's Burst Over The Hamptons" uses more synths than the rest of the album, almost sounding like a 70s science fiction show at the close.
Another particularly strong track is "I Am The Antichrist To You." "I Am The Antichrist To You" is soft, flowing, and gorgeous. The album closes with "Beat The Bright Out Of Me," the longest and most ethereal track on the album, and quite a flowing piece in its own right.
There are no weak spots in 151a. Each track has a wonderful sound and overall build. The instruments are present and absent at exactly the right moments. 151a may not turn out to be my favorite album of the year, but it is certainly a work of art.
Kishi Bashi is K Ishisbashi's solo project. K Ishibashi has worked with of Montreal and Regina
Spektor. 151a is his debut full-length album.
151a is out April 10th and can be purchased here.