Kishi Bashi

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Kishi Bashi
(K. Ishibashi)
Background information
Born (1975-11-04) 4 November 1975 (age 43)
OriginSeattle, Washington / Norfolk, Virginia, United States
GenresIndie pop, indie rock, psychedelic pop, electronic, experimental
InstrumentsGuitar, violin, keyboards, programming
LabelsJoyful Noise Recordings
Universal D
Associated actsof Montreal, Jupiter One, Regina Spektor

Kaoru Ishibashi (born November 4, 1975), who performs as Kishi Bashi, is an American singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. He is a founding member of Jupiter One, and, for a few years, was a member of the band of Montreal. He embarked on his career as a solo artist in 2011, releasing his debut album 151a at Joyful Noise Recordings in 2012 to immediate fanfare and critical acclaim.[1][2][3][4]


Born in Seattle, Washington, Ishibashi grew up in Norfolk, Virginia where both of his parents were professors at Old Dominion University. His mother is from Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.[5] After graduating from Matthew Fontaine Maury High School in 1994, he went to Cornell's School of Engineering. At Cornell he co-founded a band named Tamarisk. After flunking out of Cornell,[6] he went to study film scoring[5] at Berklee College of Music[6] before becoming a renowned violinist.[citation needed] Ishibashi has recorded and toured internationally as a violinist with diverse artists such as Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and most recently, the Athens, Georgia-based indie rock band, of Montreal. He remains based in Athens.

Kishi Bashi is also the singer and founding member of the New York electronic rock outfit, Jupiter One. In 2011, he started to record and perform as a solo artist, opening for Sondre Lerche,[7] Alexi Murdoch, and of Montreal. He supported of Montreal on their spring 2012 tour.[8]

Shortly after Ishibashi debuted his full-length solo album 151a on Indianapolis label Joyful Noise Recordings, NPR All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen listed Kishi Bashi as his favorite new artist of 2012 noting that he created "a radiant, uplifting soundscape" with songs such as "Bright Whites."[9] In the same year, Microsoft licensed "Bright Whites" for use in a commercial for Windows 8.[10] Around the same time, Sony used Kishi Bashi's song "It All Began With A Burst" from the same album for a commercial introducing their Xperia Tablet S.[11] In addition to these placements, Smart licensed "Chester's Burst Over The Hamptons" for their line of smart cars in the United States.[12]

Kishi Bashi has since been invited to play in major festivals such as SXSW and Austin City Limits and gone on an extensive US tour with supporting acts such as The Last Bison (from his native Hampton Roads, Virginia). In early 2013, Kishi Bashi held a North American tour across the United States and Canada, continuing in EU and UK in spring 2013.

In 2014 Kishi Bashi released his own line of coffee through Jittery Joe's called Royal Daark Blend. Each purchase comes with an exclusive song download.[13]


Studio albums[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

  • Room for Dream EP (2011) – Aerobic International / Joyful Noise
  • Philosophize! Chemicalize! EP (2013) – Joyful Noise
  • Room for Dream EP (2017) – Joyful Noise

Live albums[edit]

  • Live on Valentine's (2014) – Joyful Noise
  • String Quartet Live! (2015) – Joyful Noise

Compilation albums[edit]


Kishi Bashi's first EP, Room For Dream, came out in May 2011 on Aerobic International. Room For Dream features four songs, including a duet with Kevin Barnes and can only be purchased from downloading platforms such as iTunes or Bandcamp.

His live show is a solo performance based on live violin and vocal looping and beat boxing. He has often been compared to Andrew Bird and Owen Pallett.[14] Kishi Bashi's first full-length record, 151a, was released by Joyful Noise Recordings on April 10, 2012 after receiving partial funding through Kickstarter.[15] The title '151a' refers to the Japanese term 一期一会 (pronounced the same way '151a' is in Japanese), which carries a meaning similar to "once in a lifetime".[16][17] The three b-sides from the Room For Dream EP ("Conversations at the End of the World," "Evalyn, Summer has Arrived," and "Unicorns Die When You Leave") are included on the Australian/NZ edition of '151a' as bonus tracks. The Australian/NZ edition also replaces "Intro / Pathos, Pathos" with an instrumental version of the same track.

Kishi Bashi's second full-length album, Lighght (pronounced "light") was released on Joyful Noise Recordings on May 13, 2014.[18] The album's title is a one-word poem by Aram Saroyan.[19]

His third studio album, Sonderlust, was released on September 16, 2016 by Joyful Noise Recordings.[20] It was produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear.


  1. ^ "Kishi Bashi: Unique Performances In Time". Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  2. ^ "Kishi Bashi: 151a". PopMatters. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  3. ^ "Kishi Bashi 151a". Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  4. ^ "Kishi Bashi - "Bright Whites" (Windows 8 Commercial) - Earbuddy". Earbuddy. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  5. ^ a b Tom Murphy (2013-02-19). "Kishi Bashi on learning how not to get pushed around by jaded New York Broadway types". WestWord. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b Buerger, Megan (2012-03-30). "As Kishi Bashi, Kaoru Ishibashi finding hard-earned success on the solo circuit". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  7. ^ "Show Review: Sondre Lerche with Nightlands and Kishi Bashi at Great American Music Hall, 6/28/11". 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  8. ^ "Kishi Bashi Announces Headlining Tour". CMJ. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  9. ^ Apple, Fiona (2012-06-12). "Discussion: Our Favorite Music Of The Year (So Far) : All Songs Considered". NPR. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  10. ^ Krenn, Nick. "Subliminal Stunner: Kishi Bashi – "Bright Whites" – (Windows 8 Commercial)". Earbuddy. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  11. ^ Ilsley, Colin. "Sony Commercial for Sony Xperia Tablet (2012)". Rick (Popisms). Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  12. ^ "2013 Smart Electric Car TV Spot, 'Parking Garage'". ispot. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Kishi Bashi Turns Lighght to Daark With New Coffee Blend". TRANSVERSO. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  14. ^ "Kishi Bashi | Similar Artists, Influenced By, Followers". AllMusic. 1975-11-04. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  15. ^ "Kishi Bashi 'Manchester' PREMIERE". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  16. ^ "KISHI BASHI君を応援しよう!". Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  17. ^ "Sing Speak: A Collaboration of Kishi Bashi & Brian Omni Dillon - Events — Housing Works". 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  18. ^ "New Kishi Bashi: album details announced! | Journal // Joyful Noise Recordings". 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  19. ^ "Lighght | Kishi Bashi". Bandcamp. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Sonderlust by Kishi Bashi". Bandcamp. Retrieved 13 July 2016.

External links[edit]