Before Kaoru Ishibashi went solo as Kishi Bashi, he was making his way as a bow for hire. As a classically trained violinst, he’s recorded and toured with the likes of Regina Spektor, of Montreal, and Sondre Lerche. His penchant for lush string arrangements was reinforced with his solo albums, 151a and Lighght, while also bringing in an array of percussive instruments and experimental electronic sounds.
It’s in Ishibashi’s live performances, however, that his talents truly come to life, thanks to intricate loops of his violin and his soaring vocals. Now he’s recreating that experience with his upcoming album, String Quartet Live!, out November 13th via Joyful Noise Recordings. The album features new interpretations of tracks from his first two records, all done with the accompaniment of a string quartet. To give a sample of what to expect, he’s shared his cover of Talking Heads’ classic “This Must Be The Place”.
The song has long been a staple of Ishibashi’s live act but has yet to receive a proper recording. His interpretation extracts David Byrne’s funkiness and replaces it with a sense of grandeur. Even with just strings, the song surges forward. Ishibashi’s vocals sound pristine, intertwining effortlessly with the kaleidoscoping strings. It’s an energetic revival of a familiar tune, showcasing Ishibashi’s technical prowess and his emotional intuition.
Listen in below.