Kishi Bashi – Omoiyari – (indie pop)
Kishi Bashi’s newest work, Omoiyari, which translates roughly from Japanese to mean “creating compassion towards others,” connects the difficult subject of the internment of the Japanese during WWII and mixes it with summery arrangements of acoustic instruments, modern pop, and indie styling to paint this entire sweet, yet melancholy world around the listener. The album touches on many different aspects of the internment, but in a unique way, to imply that the human spirit will continue through the most trying times. For example, “Summer of ’42” is a soft sweet song about a love growing inside one of these camps.
This album is Kishi Bashi’s most mature work, and was inspired by visiting the remains of many of these internment camps. As a Japanese American, this subject truly resonated with him to create what would be considered, a masterpiece. This is truly a summer album, but in a bittersweet way, considering the message presented, but the music is perfect to lay down at the end of a hot day and relax too.
Every track on this album paints its own unique picture. I must admit, it has been a long time since I’ve listened to an entire album without getting bored at some point. Kishi Bashi’s sweet melodic voice and soft acoustic guitar playing, mixed with violins and chimes, created this entire sonic palette that kept me wanting to know what the next song was, but not wanting to miss any detail of the song I was listening to.
I believe this is truly one of the better albums of 2019 and I encourage you to check it out! Here is the first track off the record, give it a listen!