Kishi Bashi has revealed ‘Hey Big Star’, the second song to be taken from his forthcoming third album Sonderlust released on September 16th through Joyful Noise Recordings.
‘Hey Big Star’ premiered with Stereogum who said, “The track is a prog-disco banger driven by synths, bass, a crisp handclap-beat, Ishibashi’s lovely vocal, and a truly magnificent chorus… ‘Hey Big Star’ is what they call “perfect pop”: exquisitely crafted and achingly beautiful; communicating wonder, uncertainty, and sadness, all in the service of a majestic melody. It deserves the worshipful hearts and ears of children by the millions — give me one good reason why this track couldn’t go to #1 in America (without using Carly Rae Jepsen as a reference point).”
‘Hey Big Star’ follows the release of Sonderlust lead single ‘Say Yeah’, which quickly clocked up the great critical praise that has followed Kishi Bashi throughout his impressive back catalogue. NPR described it as, “A rapturous mix of ’70s soft rock, disco and synth pop,” while Consequence Of Sound said it was, “A lovely disco-tinged slice of indie pop.”
Born in Seattle and first coming to prominence as the singer for New York electronic rock outfit Jupiter One, Kauru Ishibashi soon became an in-demand violinist touring with the likes of Regina Spektor, Sondre Leche and of Montreal before embarking on a solo career under the stage moniker Kishi Bashi.
His first two studio albums – 151a and Lighght – were released to rave reviews but the demands of promotion came with a price. “Touring and its accompanying lifestyle took a heavy toll on my soul and my family,” revealed Ishibashi recently.
Emerging as a result of these personal struggles and creative road blocks, Sonderlust is his most intimate and artistically adventurous work to date, brought to life with the help of producer Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear), engineer Pat Dillet (Angelique Kidjo, David Byrne), and drummer Matt Chamberlain (Morrissey, Fiona Apple, of Montreal.)
Sonderlust spans multiple genres throughout its ten tracks, incorporating songs that longtime fans will recognise as being distinctly Kishi Bashi, along with those that stray from his usual sound.
Speaking on the conception of Sonderlust, Ishibashi notes that his new songs didn’t come immediately or through his usual process: “As I sat down to write songs last summer, I went to all my usual conduits of creation: violin loops, guitar, piano, and I came up with the musical equivalent of fumes. I tried to create orchestral pop recordings that I assumed were my forte, and in turn, I found myself standing in front of a creative wall of frightening heights.”
This uncertainty paired with significant changes in his personal life led Ishibashi to experiment with a new musical direction, one which required him to dig deeply into his soul and tackle complex matters: “I questioned everything about what it means to love and desire…the difference between loving someone and being in love”
Sonderlust gets its name from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows’ definition of ‘sonder’: “The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own…an epic story that continues invisibly around you, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed…in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway”
Kishi Bashi will perform songs from Sonderlust live on the road this autumn, with a major 29-date North American tour that kicks off in late September, visiting the likes of New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and many more.
Sonderlust Track Listing: 1. m’lover 2. Hey Big Star 3. Say Yeah 4. Can’t Let Go, Juno 5. Ode to My Next Life 6. Who’d You Kill 7. Statues in a Gallery 8. Why Don’t You Answer Me 9. Flame on Flame (a Slow Dirge) 10. Honeybody