Way Yes – Tog Pebbles [Listen]

Suddenly I have a new favourite band. I love playful music; anything that sounds like fun to make, which is why artists like Animal Collective and Kishi Bashi were instant hits for me. Way Yes are a 5 piece band from Columbus, Ohio, and boy do they know how to produce great sounding music. The first song I heard from them was called Cinnamon, I instantly sent it to my friend and was like, ‘Oh my god it’s Kermit the Frog singing’. The song couldn’t help stretch a smile across my face, but at the same time I was thinking, ‘this sounds bloody good’.


I proceeded to checking out all their other releases. Cinnamon came from their first EP Herringbone, they released a full length album in 2012 called Walkability, and now they have just released their latest album, Tog Pebbles. Like good cheese; their sound has matured from Herringbone (2010), to what is now a cool combo of upbeat and chilled tracks that employ a mix of jungly beats and synthy-pop sounds.


The vocals have taken a step back in the mix too, adding greater importance to the instrumental parts in the songs. Two tracks from Tog Pebbles really stick out for me, Holy Drop and Colerainbecause besides the feel-good crescendos, the lyrics carry an unexpected, meaningful weight . They also have the best album art designed by John Malta. We don’t rate music on Universal Wax, so i’m just going to give this artist my most prestigious seal of approval. Now go check them out!

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Kishi Bashi – 151a [Listen]

“Grand and transcendent… the layers of beautiful sound, homage to Japanese culture, and use of violin make 151a a dreamy, pocket-sized symphony, perfect for anyone needing a lift.”
BUST

This artist has jumped to the top of my ‘most played’ this summer. Kishi Bashi, aka K Ishibashi is a solo artist who has toured with the likes of Of Montreal, and is also a founder of the NY indie rock band, Jupiter One. Now going solo, K Ishibashi has produced something fresh, new and wonderfully weird. From listening to the first intro track on his debt album, 151a, you wouldn’t expect what would follow.


It’s electronic, folky, classical – a tornado of musical goodness that’s entertaining from the beginning to end. Drawing from his classical routes as a violinist, K Ishibashi conjures a melody of genres, which I can only compare to an artist such as Animal Collective. He mixes up English and Japanese in his lyrics, which add to the sometimes manic feel to the songs. The transition from each track to the next leaves you wanting more of his feel-good musical world he creates.


The birth of this album was conceived through a Kickstarter campaign – a site where entrepreneurs, filmmakers, musicians etc pitch their project and rely on the support of the public to donate money to fund it. Ishibashi’s target was $12,000, and within three weeks he raised $20,000, an impressive achievement, and one that paid off. Since the album’s release in April, Ishibashi has been impressing critics and the public with his live loop-based performances.

“The way I create my loops, I just kind of — they’re not exact. So a lot of it has to do with a feeling and it might be faster, I also like changing things up, so I’ll change things and kind of make it different, and I also like the audience to have a different experience.”
KISHI BASHI – RIVERFRONT TIMES

The album is diverse and unexpected. It paints a picture of both joy and melancholy, and it leaves you feeling great. Ishibashi is currently on tour around the US, and is yet to pencil in anything for Europe. You can get your hands on his album here.