Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Breakfast’

In April 2021, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner will publish her first book, a memoir titled “Crying in H Mart”. If the titular essay, originally published in a 2018 issue of The New Yorker, is any indication, it will be a moving depiction of Zauner’s relationship with her family, food, and Korean heritage.  Zauner will also share a new Japanese Breakfast album, a much-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Soft Sounds From Another Planet”. In the meantime, check out pop songs 2020, an EP Zauner made with Crying’s Ryan Galloway under the name Bumper

From the moment she began writing her new album, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner knew that she wanted to call it ‘Jubilee’. After all, a jubilee is a celebration of the passage of time—a festival to usher in the hope of a new era in brilliant technicolor. Zauner’s first two albums garnered acclaim for the way they grappled with anguish; ‘Psychopomp’ was written as her mother underwent cancer treatment, while ‘Soft Sounds From Another Planet’ took the grief she held from her mother’s death and used it as a conduit to explore the cosmos. Now, at the start of a new decade, Japanese Breakfast is ready to fight for happiness, an all-too-scarce resource in our seemingly crumbling world.

Michlle Zauner has been making waves in the indie music scene for a year now with her alter ego Japanese Breakfast but she’s not quite there yet in the first row of indie pop superstars (you know, the Tame Impala/ Phoebe Bridgers level). But now she returns with her entry ticket and what might easily the best pop song of 2021 so far. Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing helped her writing it and I told you before that this man is an expert when it comes to catchy 80s-infected pop hooks. “Be Sweet” is such a song – a much needed overdose of positive vibes, including a chorus that will stuck in your damn head for the rest of the day, week and maybe year. “After spending the last five years writing about grief, I wanted our follow up to be about joy,” Zauner says about her forthcoming record “Jubilee” which is out in June and will be a ‘bombastic’ experience according to her.

“Posing in Bondage” the new song by Japanese Breakfast from the album ‘Jubilee’, out June 4th on Dead Oceans.

‘Jubilee’ finds Michelle Zauner embracing ambition and, with it, her boldest ideas and songs yet. Inspired by records like Bjork’s ‘Homogenic’, Zauner delivers bigness throughout – big ideas, big textures, colours, sounds and feelings. At a time when virtually everything feels extreme, ‘Jubilee’ sets its sights on maximal joy, imagination, and exhilaration. It is, in Michelle Zauner’s words, “a record about fighting to feel. I wanted to re-experience the pure, unadulterated joy of creation… The songs are about recalling the optimism of youth and applying it to adulthood. They’re about making difficult choices, fighting ignominious impulses and honouring commitments, confronting the constant struggle we have with ourselves to be better people.”

Throughout ‘Jubilee’, Zauner pours her own life into the universe of each song to tell real stories, and allowing those universes, in turn, to fill in the details. Joy, change, evolution — these things take real time, and real effort. And Japanese Breakfast is here for it.

Writing a profound pop song is an art form – and this is a great example for it.

Michelle Zauner is back with her first Japanese Breakfast album since 2017’s ‘Soft Sounds From Another Planet’.  Zauner will publish her memoir Crying In H Mart later this year. Set for release in the UK on August 5th, the book is described as an “unflinching and powerful memoir about [Zauner] growing up Korean-American, losing her mother and forging her own identity”.

The new album ‘Jubilee’ – you can hear its lead single, ‘Be Sweet’‘Jubilee’ will be released on June 4th via Dead Oceans. Speaking about the process behind making the album, Zauner said that she’s “never wanted to rest on any laurels. I wanted to push it as far as it could go, inviting more people in and pushing myself as a composer, a producer, an arranger.”

“After spending the last five years writing about grief, I wanted our follow up to be about joy,” Zauner explained. “For me, a third record should feel bombastic and so I wanted to pull out all the stops for this one. “I wrote ‘Be Sweet’ with Jack Tatum from Wild Nothing a few years ago. I’ve been holding onto it for so long and am so excited to finally put it out there.”

For today, Michelle Zauner the mastermind behind Japanese Breakfast already has a busy year ahead of her third album “Jubilee”, the awaited follow-up to 2017’s Soft Sounds From Another Planet, which will be out June 4th. The song is packed with massive drum hits, Nile Rodgers-like guitar strums, and shimmering synths (Oh! How those synths shimmer). The album’s lead single is a joyous and hopeful introduction to Zauner’s next album, but it comes after a long period of mourning and growth; her first two albums coincided with witnessing her mother undergo cancer treatment and grieving her death. “After spending the last five years writing about grief, I wanted our follow up to be about joy,” she said of the new project. “For me, a third record should feel bombastic and so I wanted to pull out all the stops for this one. 

“Be Sweet” also comes with a fun video that Zauner directed which features Mannequin Pussy’s Marisa Dabice. Together they search for UFOs with a very legitimate looking neon-lit UFO tracker. “I want to believe in you / I want to believe in something,” Zauner sings during the chorus. 

“Be Sweet” the new song by Japanese Breakfast from ‘Jubilee’, out June 4th on Dead Oceans Records.

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Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner has informed her Twitter followers to expect her third album some point in 2021. Responding to post on social media relating to a feature by the publication about the most highly anticipated releases in 2021, Zauner quoted the tweet and added, “LP3 coming”. Japanese Breakfast has still yet officially announced the record, but it has been close to four-years since she shared her last full-length effort, 2017’s “Soft Sounds From Another Planet”.

Zauner didn’t release any music under the Japanese Breakfast moniker in 2020, the last time she shared music came in 2019 when she released a glorious cover Tears For Fears ‘Head Over Heels’ and a new track, titled ‘Essentially’. Her creative energy has been primarily spent writing her memoir “Crying in H Mart”. The book is based on Zauner’s 2018 New Yorker essay and is out in April.

In a press release, Zauner said: “My mother passed away almost six years ago and ever since, my life has felt folded in half, divided into a before and after her death, my identity and my family having been fractured in the wake of her loss. I’ve spent the past six years processing grief in the best way I knew how-through creative work. “I wrote two albums worth of material in an attempt to encapsulate all of that heavy darkness, confusion and loneliness, and then I spent another three years writing pages and pages to try and capture my mother’s brilliant character and spirit, what it was like to be raised by a Korean immigrant in a small west coast town with very little diversity, the intense shame I felt towards my mixed-race identity and how my embrace of Korean food and culture helped me come to terms with that upbringing, allowed me to reconnect with her memory.”

Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner is releasing her first book this year, Crying in H Mart, and after playing new songs on a May livestream, she’s confirmed that Japanese Breakfast’s third album in on the way, too. She said she wrote a lot of it on piano, and we’re eager to hear how that might influence the band’s dream pop sound. is releasing her first book this year, and after playing new songs on a May livestream, she’s confirmed that Japanese Breakfast’s third album in on the way, too. She said she wrote a lot of it on piano, and we’re eager to hear how that might influence the band’s dream pop sound.

2021 is gearing up to potentially be a huge one for Zauner as she expresses herself with these two formats as she releases a new album and her memoir, Crying in H Mart. Anticipation is rife as Zauner plans to make up for the relative silence from Japanese Breakfast over the last couple of years.

Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner has joined forces with Crying’s Ryan Galloway for a new quarantine project called BUMPER. Today, they’ve announced their debut EP pop songs 2020, which is officially out tomorrow (September 4th) but you can stream in its entirety now. Listen to the four-track project below (via Rolling Stone).

Zauner and Galloway live three blocks apart from one another in New York City, but haven’t seen each other in person since the pandemic began earlier this year. They started sharing tracks for the new EP over email back in June. “pop songs 2020”.  “Black Light” was probably the highlight, Japanese Breakfast released her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, in July 2017 via Dead Oceans (it was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2017). Last year she announced that she has signed a book deal with the publishing company Knopf and is writing a memoir entitled Crying in H Mart. A press release described the book as such: “Crying in H Mart is Zauner’s story about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother too young, searching for identity in a hybrid culture, and finding a passion for her ancestry and Korean cooking as a way to heal and return to her roots in the wake of loss.”

Zauner’s writing has also previously appeared in Glamour and The New Yorker. There’s no word on when Crying in H Mart will be published. She’s also an accomplished music video director.

Zauner issued her last studio album as Japanese BreakfastSoft Sounds From Another Planet—in 2017. The previous year, Crying shared their Beyond the Fleeting Gales LP.

Michelle Zauner and Ryan Galloway live three blocks apart but haven’t seen each other since the beginning of quarantine. Zauner, who performs under the moniker Japanese Breakfast, and Galloway, best known for his project Crying, started trading tracks in early June, adding layers back and forth over email. Betwixt synth and sample, track and tune, concocting songs that mix the playful quirks of Cibo Matto with the bombastic power of late 80s Janet Jackson, Bumper emerges from the confines of two NY apartments and offers pop songs 2020.

EP Track Listing:
– You Can Get It!
– Black Light
– Red Brick
– Ballad 0

Bumper ‘pop songs 2020’ EP available September 4th, 2020

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Japanese Breakfast (Michelle Zauner) shared a cover of the Tears For Fears classic “Head Over Heels”(from 1985). It was recorded for W Records, which is an imprint of W Hotels, and all proceeds are going to the ACLU, and follows “Essentially” a brand new song Japanese Breakfast released via W Records back in April. Curt Smith, co-founder of Tears For Fears, had this to say about the cover in a press release: “Japanese Breakfast has recorded a beautiful, ethereal reimagining of ‘Head Over Heels.’

Like “Essentially” the cover was recorded at the W Sound Suite at the W Hotel in Bali.

Zauner had this to say about recording there in a previous press release: “I was originally going to record a different song but decided to write something on the fly once I arrived in Bali. I like the challenge of writing and arranging quickly and intuitively sometimes, and I had just bought a native instruments machine and wanted to explore a lot of the sample libraries it came with and work on the synths that were at the studio. It was a very idyllic place to work. I usually record in cold studios, so Bali was a pretty glamorous change. I felt so lucky the day I arrived just walking around the hotel.”

Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide, had this to say: “Working with Japanese Breakfast on this track has been an incredible experience – collaborating with a passionate musician to support an important organization has really been rewarding. W Records has always been about inspiring musicians to get creative and it’s been amazing to see Japanese Breakfast’s journey and exploration with us at W. We are excited for the world to hear her rendition of ‘Head Over Heels’ and help support the work of the ACLU.”

We recorded a stripped down cover of my fave Tears for Fears track Head Over Heels.

Japanese Breakfast released her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, in July 2017 via Dead Oceans . In February she announced that she has signed a book deal with the publishing company Knopf and is writing a memoir entitled Crying in H Mart. A press release described the book as such: “Crying in H Mart is Zauner’s story about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother too young, searching for identity in a hybrid culture, and finding a passion for her ancestry and Korean cooking as a way to heal and return to her roots in the wake of loss.”

Zauner’s writing has also previously appeared in Glamour and The New Yorker. There’s no word on when Crying in H Martwill be published. She’s also an accomplished music video director.

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Let it be known that Michelle Zauner’s first original release as Japanese Breakfast since 2017 is “Essentially” an indie-pop bop. “Essentially” wouldn’t sound out of place on Soft Sounds from Another Planet, as it’s a spacey, yet danceable thumper that finds Zauner demanding the kind of love that makes everything—and everyone—else seem trivial by comparison, like looking down on a crowd from a great height. “How is it you fall asleep so easy / Who is it you’re dreaming of tonight?” she wonders, insisting, “Love me essentially.

Essentially by Japanese Breakfast for W Records.

Japanese Breakfast, 'Soft Sounds From Another Planet'

Sad streamers, dreary disco balls and slow-moving gyms are nothing new in the realm of musical visuals, but Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, who directed the “Boyish” film herself, brings a new wink to the high-school-themed-video trope. After its release, Zauner said of the video on Instagram: “Boyish is a song that has gone through many transformations but ultimately it’s a song that’s simply about wanting to feel pretty & loved. It’s my favorite video yet.” And Zauner should be proud: The four-minute “Boyish” clip absolutely charms.

The subject is a shy student trying to make it through her school dance. She, like Zauner, just wants to feel loved and appreciated and noticed. By clip’s end, our heroine is living her dream of being on stage, but, unfortunately, we realize it is only a dream. The video has racked up more than two million views on YouTube (quite a lot for an indie video) and is a joy to watch from start to finish. This music video has it all: balloons arcs, a studly love interest and a cameo from Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan, who appears as a cheerleader. The utterly lovely and thoughtful “Boyish” will have you saying “Go team!”

Boyish from Soft Sounds From Another Planet. Out now on Dead Oceans:

Japanese Breakfast, 'Soft Sounds From Another Planet'

As Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner writes sparkling, opulent dream pop about grief and love (and, occasionally, robots). After releasing its debut album, Psychopomp last year, the band returned with this year’s stunning Soft Sounds From Another Planet. Where Psychopomp, was written in the immediate aftermath of the death of Zauner’s mother, zeroed in on the experience of Zauner’s grief, Soft Sounds widens her aperture, featuring paeans to her coping mechanisms, ruminations on crooked relationship dynamics and said sci-fi robot fantasy. At its Tiny Desk concert, the band swapped out Soft Sound’s gauzy, astral synths for acoustic guitar and piano, and was joined by members of Washington, D.C. string quartet Rogue Collective.

Zauner had wanted to do something special for the performance, and was tipped off by Landlady’s Adam Schatz that the Rogue Collective make pretty great Tiny Desk partners. The Collective practiced with Japanese Breakfast the day before the Tiny Desk, and was a featured guest later that night at the band’s D.C. show. The adaptation highlighted Zauner’s strength as a songwriter, providing an even more direct line into the raw emotion at the heart of her songs. The string swells during “Boyish” lent gravity to the song’s bittersweet desperation. During “Till Death,” her ode to marriage, Zauner sang — as she often does — in a way that strains her voice to the crackling, taut edge of heartbreak. It’s arresting on any stage, but particularly powerful in the stark midday light of NPR Music’s office. For its final song at the Tiny Desk, Japanese Breakfast performed “This House.” Gone was the Rogue Collective, and indeed much of the band — just Zauner and pianist Craig Hendrix remained. The song describes moments in love that are more fearful labor than bliss, the hazy space where commitment, confusion and longing intersect. Like much of Japanese Breakfast’s music, the performance shows Zauner looking unblinkingly at fear and pain, daring us to do the same.

Set List “Boyish” “Till Death” “This House”

Musicians Michelle Zauner; Deven Craige, Craig Hendrix; Peter Bradley; Alexa Cantalupo; Kaitlin Moreno; Natalie Spehar

A solo moniker for Philadelphia musician Michelle Zauner, Japanese Breakfast began as a month-long, song-a-day writing challenge during a break from her indie rock band Little Big League. The result was 2013’s June, an intimate set of melodic, electric guitar-accompanied lo-fi tunes issued on cassette by Ranch Records. She continued to write solo and with her band, with Japanese Breakfast’s self-released Where Is My Great Big Feeling? and the Seagreen Records cassette American Sound both following in the summer of 2014 before Little Big League’s Tropical Jinx arrived that October. With a varied palette including markedly bigger, synth-boosted sounds that bridged lo-fi and indie pop, Japanese Breakfast’s Yellow K Records debut, Psychopomp, was released in the spring of 2016.

The album dealt with the emotional fallout of her mother’s death, and was, in Zauner’s mind, the one and only Japanese Breakfast record. She soon changed her mind, signed with Dead Oceans (which re-released Psychopomp to a wider audience), and began work on another album with the help of producer Craig Hendrix, who had also helmed Little Big League’s debut album. The pair played the bulk of the instruments on the album and went for a much bigger sound, taking the project out of the bedroom and into a much bigger space. An expansive mix from indie pop alchemist Jorge Elbrecht made it sound even larger as Zauner delved into themes like grief, dead pop stars, outer space, and moving on. Soft Sounds from Another Planet was released by Dead Oceans in July of 2017

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Michelle Zauner, sole creator of the indie pop project Japanese Breakfast, made 2016’s Psychopomp amid the death of her mother from cancer, a catastrophic event that can easily send anyone down an unfamiliar path. For Zauner, it meant an ongoing search for solace in loss. Soft Sounds From Another Planet continues that journey. It’s a somber, starry lullaby that results in periods of fitful sleep marked by struggles with fading love and death’s vague mystery. But there’s something comforting about the record too, with its interlocking muted chords, muffled drums, and sudden shocks of electric guitar that add sharp slices of lightning. Soft Sounds is full of pretty interludes of ambient noise mixed with shoegaze and electropop touches.

The Body Is A Blade from the new album, “Soft Sounds From Another Planet” out now Dead Oceans Records.