Kishi Bashi

The latest full-length from Kishi Bashi, Kantos is a work of exquisite duality: a party album about the possible end of humanity as we know it, at turns deeply unsettling and sublimely joyful. In a sonic departure from the symphonic folk of his critically lauded 2019 LP Omoiyari—a career-defining body of work born from his intensive meditation on the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II—the Seattle-born singer/songwriter/producer’s fifth studio album encompasses everything from Brazilian jazz and ’70s funk to orchestral rock and city pop (a Japanese genre that peaked in the mid-’80s). Informed by an equally kaleidoscopic mix of inspirations—the cult-classic sci-fi novel series Hyperion Cantos, the writings of 18th century enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant, a revelatory trip to ancient ruins on the island of Crete—Kantos ultimately serves as an unbridled exaltation of the human spirit and all its wild complexities.