Introducing: Kauru Ishibashi aka Kishi Bashi

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 from the hardships that he has experienced as an artist, Ishibashi’s third studio album was born. ‘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.

The single ‘Say Yeah’ premiered on NPR in the US and has been greeted by huge acclaim, including from Gold Flake Paint who said, “A bountiful display of energy and craft, Bashi dropping silky smooth vocals over the most colourful of backdrops that might just carry the whole weight of summer in the palms of its most gifted hands.”

Roughly a month before the album is released, Kishi Bashi unveiled a new track called “Hey Big Star”.

“Hey Big Star” is a very feel good song. The introduction of it has similar undertones to that of a Bollywood song however it changes rhythm and beat as the song goes on. It has that vibe to it that is very indie as it features a series of high pitched vocals and disco-synth-pop music.

Some people may think that this song is just one of those generic sounding “indie” tracks but, for those who love Indie music as much as we do, they will be given a sense of familiarity when listening to this song, a feeling like you’re home.

You can listen to Kishi Bashi’s “Hey Big Star” below via Soundcloud.

The single has 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… 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).”

The track has already clocked up some serious praise. Stereogum said, “’Hey Big Star’ is what they call “perfect pop”: exquisitely crafted and achingly beautiful; communicating wonder, uncertainty, and sadness, all in the service of majestic melody,” while SPIN Magazine featured it in their top songs of the week among a stack of further praise.


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


What did you think of “Hey Big Star”? Are you excited for Kishi Bashi’s next album “Sonderlust”? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @CelebMix!

Written by CelebMix