Kishi Bashi - Emigrant EP [Limited edition Mountain Spring Clear Color Vinyl Record]
Over the last several years, the critically acclaimed composer and adventurous multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi has traveled frequently to Montana and Wyoming to work on Omoiyari, a “song film” about Japanese internment during WWII. The experience was potent for Kishi Bashi, who conducted research for the film (and 2019 album of the same name) by speaking to internment camp incarcerees and descendants. These conversations led to him reflecting on his own identity as a Japanese-American while laying the foundation of his forthcoming Emigrant EP.
Along with the brutal history and harsh climate of the American West, Kishi Bashi also sensed a hope and potential, compassion, and resilience. In Emigrant EP, he celebrates these qualities. Arranged and recorded over the last year, the six tracks serve as a time capsule of the 2020 condition and a continuation of the concepts explored in Omoiyari. What’s more, they find Kishi Bashi rewriting musical tradition in the image of his own experience, further embracing his love for roots music and violin fiddling.
Meditating on the anxieties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the comforts of nature, the pains of resource-fueled conflicts, and the resiliency that emerges from struggle, Emigrant EP is steeped in the past while it looks to the future. “I want to understand the history, but also dive in and really try to humanize it,” he says. “I’m trying to show how we’re all the same type of human being. We have the same desires and needs, to protect our loved ones and also to celebrate the everyday.”