Watch Kishi Bashi Cover Beirut : All Songs Considered Known for his live looping, violinist and singer Kishi Bashi hired a string quartet to cover "A Sunday Smile," one of his favorite songs by the band Beirut. See him perform with the group, live in studio.
NPR logo Watch Kishi Bashi Cover Beirut

Watch Kishi Bashi Cover Beirut

Kishi Bashi (who's real name is K Ishibashi) is known for his thrilling live performances, looping and layering his violin and voice to create a symphony of sound. But when he decided to cover "A Sunday Smile," one of his favorite songs by the band Beirut, K went for "real" musicians, captured in this live-in-studio video.

"This is an early Beirut song that really put [frontman Zach Condon] on the map for me," K tells us in an Email. "A friend of mine sent me a link to it and the ineffable beauty of the melody just resounded in me. It's so simple and yet full of emotion."

The string quartet K recruited for the performance is featured in the lower half of the split screen video, which was directed and produced by Tony Verderosa. Kishi Bashi wears headphones and sings in the upper half. Musically it doesn't stray far from the Beirut version, but it's a lovingly produced tribute. The quartet recreates a rhythmic line originally played on bass and keys, while K seems to channel Condon's beautiful baritone voice.

"A Sunday Smile" is one of three cover tunes that appear on a new 7" box set from Kishi Bashi. He also does "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" by the Talking Heads and "Prologue/Twilight" by E.L.O.