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Kishi Bashi

151a (Joyful Noise)

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews

Kishi Bashi

151a (Joyful Noise)

Kaoru Ishibashi emerges as a new indie stylist after toiling away as a multi-instrumentalist for Sondre Lerche, Regina Spektor, and Of Montreal. The Seattle native's debut full-length, 151a, branded by a phonetic representation of loosely translated Japanese phrase "live every day as though it were your last," indeed offers a carpe-diem blend of silliness and surrealism, pathos and ethereal melodies layered like a quirky aural mille-feuille. "Bright Whites" bops a bouncy exhortation in Japanese to "probably impossible/can't stop/can't take it anymore," as Ishibashi reflects on finding solace in sex in the face of bloody history. "It All Began With a Burst," meanwhile, pulses straight out of the electro dance pop Of Montreal playbook, only with more humanity and less gimmickry. (6pm, BMI stage)

***.5

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