Photo by Max Ritter

Kishi Bashi has finally announced the coming of his fourth album Omoiyari—an ambitious and poignant attempt by the multi-instrumentalist to reconcile our country’s past internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII with the socio-political atmosphere of today. The first single from that album, “Summer of ’42,” is a telling reveal of not only the album’s sound and focus but also Bashi’s direction with it musically. Unlike the indie-pop and baroque textures of Sonderlust which dazzled in its unique use of instrumentation, Omoiyari has replaced the familiar violin-looping Bashi has used in the past for a more expansive, orchestral approach. “Summer of ’42” in its five-minute span attempts to paint a vivid portrait of empathy of a love story long-ended—and to do so, Bashi lets fly an impassioned movement of strings to soundtrack it.

Kishi Bashi

As always, the singer/songwriter manages to cover a wide breadth of human emotion and narrative in the confines of a single song, delivered through both his piercing croons and the potent use of his violin. Bashi’s music has always had a touch of the whimsically transcendent; but the personal stake the musician shares with the history he has spent the last few years imbedded in makes “Summer of ’42,” and no doubt will make the album itself, one of his most emotionally visceral to date.

“This is a very important song for me in that it’s the finale piece to the symphonic piece I premiered last year. It’s a love story set in WWII, about falling in love in an incarceration camp and ultimately losing that love,” Bashi said of the song. “The significance is that the idea of love, loss, and desire are consistent themes throughout history and help us to empathize with a people in a disconnected past.”

Kishi Bashi will be going on tour this summer with a stop at the Masonic Lodge in Los Angeles on June 11. His new album Omoiyari is out May 31 via Joyful Noise Recordings, preorder it here. Visit his website and Facebook to stay updated on future releases and announcements.

Listen to Kishi Bashi’s new single “Sumer of ’42” below!

Kishi Bashi 2019 tour:
06/08 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theater
06/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge
06/12 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall
06/14 – Portland, OR @ The Old Church
06/16 – Seattle, WA @ Washington Hall
06/18 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
06/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Murmrr Theatre
06/20 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club