It’s not often I will go out of my way to review a radio session EP that’s been released but Kishi Bashi is an artist whose music is completely transformed from record to live performance. The 25 minute set covers five tracks and each of them is showcased with Kishi Bashi at the violin, looping himself around, and his friend Tall Tall Trees on the ukulele. The result is something really quite special.
Audiotree has a habit of getting some blinding performances and opening with a wonderfully country western version of “Bright Whites” that is as cute and bouncy as it is uplifting and mesmerising. I still have no idea what half the lyrics are but I simply don’t care as he speeds up and slows down his playing into a huge jig of beat boxing. It’s absolutely nuts and quite possibly the best thing to put a smile on your face. In complete contrast “Bittersweet Genesis For Him and Her” is utterly beautiful. The elegant plucking of violin strings creates a collage of sound to give the sweeping string arrangement all the more power. It’s so clever and moving at the same time. “Q&A” is a gentle strumming rendition of the original – more laid back but just as catchy. “Evalyn, Summer Has Arrived” has three distinct sections to it. The first is it’s falsetto based intro that is gentle and sombre before the middle see’s the ukulele kicking in for something more folksy. The finale see’s another vocal collage of loops, mixes, pitch changes and some crazy ass vocals. It’s the shift in tone that captivates me – you don’t even question it because it’s so masterful. Kishi Bashi’s live prowess is confirmed with “Atticus, In the Desert” which is an epic track on the album – and hear it is given a creative burst of joy.
If anyone want’s to start with Kishi Bashi – this is a great place but put simply – if you enjoy music that enriches the soul – this is a must buy.