Kishi Bashi is the project of acclaimed composer and songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi (Jupiter One, Of Montreal). He’ll be releasing his fourth studio album Omoiyari on May 31 via Joyful Noise Recordings. The record follows 2016’s Sonderlust and is his most important yet, as most of the songs were inspired by oppression in history and makes a strong statement on the turbulent sociopolitical atmosphere of present-day America.
Our Song of the Day is a poignant and defiant look at one of the most celebrated presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his role in creating oppression for Japanese-Americans through the use of internment camps. Bashi said this about the song:
“A lot of complicated emotions inspired this song, mainly because FDR — a hero to a generation of people from The Great Depression — ultimately succumbed to prejudice and abandoned the Japanese-Americans.”
Omoiyari is accompanied by a “songfilm” of the same name in which Kishi Bashi embarks on a personal quest by creating his music in locations relevant to the Japanese American Incarceration during WWII. “Omoiyari” is a Japanese word that means to have sympathy and compassion towards another person, which is the theme of the film. Made by a small team of director Justin Taylor Smith, photographer Andy Barton, DP Max Ritter, and scholars Julian Soporiti and Erin Aoyama alongside Kishi Bashi, they’ve created a cinematic and powerful film that explores how empathy and the lack of it have played key roles in our modern quest for social equality.
Kishi Bashi will be in Seattle on Sunday, June 16 to play Washington Hall. Watch the trailer for Omoiyari: A Songfilm below.
Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is "Clovers" by Barrie, from the 2019 album Happy to Be Here on Winspear Records.
Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is "Shape" by Julia Shapiro, from the 2019 album Perfect Version on Hardly Art.
Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is "Still Exist" by Necking, from the 2019 album Cut Your Teeth on Mint Records.