Kishi Bashi – “A Sunday Smile” (Beirut Cover) (Stereogum Premiere)

Kishi Bashi was left off our list of 2012’s Best New Artists, an omission that sparked some controversy in the comments. As I mentioned in that space, the dude got my vote, based almost entirely on his live show, which I caught at Joe’s Pub last July. It was an otherworldly, elevating performance: just violinist/vocalist K Ishibashi, his accompanist Mike Savino (of Tall Tall Trees) on banjo, and some loop/delay pedals, all of which blended to transport the entire room to the rings of Saturn or something. Since then, he’s kinda blown up. He’s just embarked on a long U.S. tour — this time with Savino and Elizabeth Ziman (of Elizabeth And The Catapult) on keyboard — which precedes the release of a 7″ series: three singles, each featuring a song from Kishi’s Bashi’s 2012 debut, 151a, on the A-side, and a cover on the flip. The first features “Manchester” b/w “A Sunday Smile” by Beirut; the second is “Bright Whites” b/w “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads; and the third is “It All Began With A Burst” b/w “Prologue / Twilight” by ELO. We’ve got the Beirut cover now, and it’s terrific. Check it out, along with tour dates (and I sincerely recommend seeing him, if you can, especially while he’s still playing relatively small spaces) and box set details below.

The Kishi Bashi 3×7″ Box Set is out 4/2 via Joyful Noise. The first 500 copies are sold as a three-part box set, including all three 7″s in a custom-built wooden frame. Each Box Set is individually hand-numbered, and is personally signed by Kishi Bashi. The 7″s are also available for individual purchase. Pre-order here.

Kishi Bashi tour dates:

02/08 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*
02/09 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair*
02/11 Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall*
02/12 Cleveland, OH @ The Grog Shop*
02/13 Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom*
02/14 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall*
02/15 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club*
02/16 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird*
02/17 Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar*
02/19 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater*
02/20 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court*
02/22 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile^
02/23 Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore^
02/24 Portland, OR @ Holocene^
02/26 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall^
02/27 Santa Cruz, CA @ Moe’s Alley^
03/01 West Hollywood, CA @ The Troubadour^
03/02 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah^
03/03 Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar
03/04 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom^
03/05 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress^
03/07 Austin, TX @ The Belmont^
03/08 Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s (Downstairs)^
03/09 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks^
03/11 Orlando, FL @ The Social%
03/12 Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits%
03/13 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree Cafe%
03/14 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl%
03/15 Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall%
03/16 Norfolk, VA @ Attucks Theatre%#
* w/ Plume Giant
^ w/ Shugo Tokumaru
% w/ Elizabeth and the Catapult
# w/ Tall Tall Trees