Kishi Bashi Shares Regina Spektor Cover “Laughing With” In Celebration Of Her Birthday

In celebration of Regina Spektor’s birthday today, her former touring violinist and venerated artist in his own right Kishi Bashi has shared his cover of her deeply stirring track “Laughing With” via Joyful Noise Recordings. “Regina Spektor is a huge influence on me. She taught me almost everything I know about being a solo artist,” explains Kishi Bashi. “I was lucky enough to have been in her band for a couple of years, and what I witnessed every night on tour was nothing short of brilliant, from the songs that enchanted and enraptured, to her uncompromising work ethic and her complete command of intimacy with her fans from the stage. Happy birthday Regina!” Kishi Bashi’s version of “Laughing With,” which trades somber piano for mellowed acoustic strums, can now be heard via YouTube here.

“Laughing With” follows his take on Dolly Parton’s “Early Morning Breeze,” released in January via Joyful Noise Recordings. His critically acclaimed 2019 album Omoiyari (Joyful Noise) was praised by The New York Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, NPR Music (‘First Listen,’ ‘New Music Friday’), Billboard, The New Yorker, Noisey, Smithsonian Magazine, Relix, Paste, Exclaim!, and many more. A record that channels the hard-learned lessons of history by reckoning with the country’s past internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, Kishi Bashi immersed himself in that period, visiting former prison sites and listening to the stories of survivors, while developing musical concepts along the way. “I didn’t want this project to be about history, but rather the importance of history, and the lessons we can learn,” Kishi Bashi reflects. “I gravitated toward themes of empathy, compassion, and understanding as a way to overcome fear and intolerance. But I had trouble finding an English title for the piece. ‘Omoiyari’ is a Japanese word. It doesn’t necessarily translate as empathy, but it refers to the idea of creating compassion towards other people by thinking about them.”