Japanese Breakfast

"The title Soft Sounds From Another Planet alludes to the promise of something that may or may not be there. Like a hope in something more. The songs are about human resilience and the strength it takes to claw out of the darkest of spaces."

Michelle Zauner wrote the debut Japanese Breakfast album in the weeks after her mother died of cancer, thinking she would quit music entirely once it was done. That wasn't the case. When Psychopomp was released to acclaim in 2016, she was forced to confront her grief. Zauner would find find herself reliving traumatic memories multiple times a day during interviews, trying to remain composed while discussing the most painful experience of her life. Her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, is a transmutation of mourning, a reflection that turns back on the cosmos in search of healing.

"I want to be a woman of regimen," Zauner sings over a burbling synth on the album's opening track "Diving Woman." This serves as Zauner's mission statement: stick to the routine lest you get derailed, don't cling to the past, don't descend. In fact, ascend to the stars; Zauner found artistic solace removed from Earth, in outer space and science fiction. "I used the theme as a means to disassociate from trauma," she explains. "Space used as a place of fantasy."

And yet, Soft Sounds From Another Planet isn't a concept album. Over the course of 12 tracks, Zauner explores an expansive thematic universe, a cohesive outpouring of unlike parts structured to create a galaxy of her own design. In the instrumental "Planetary Ambience," synths communicate the way extraterrestrials might, and on the shapeshifting single "Machinist," which Zauner has been performing live for over a year now, she details the sci-fi narrative of a woman falling in love with a machine. "It's pure fiction," she explains, "But it can map onto real relationships in a relevant way." The track, which begins with spoken-word ambience, moves into autotune ‘80s pop bliss and ends with a sultry saxophone solo, perfectly marries the experience: there's a perceptible humanity in mechanical, bodily events.

Within its astral production, much of Soft Sounds From Another Planet stays grounded. "Road Head" is the last chest compression in attempt to resuscitate a doomed relationship, while the penultimate track "This House" is an acoustic dirge that honors Zauner's chosen family. The baroque pop "Boyish" has a haunting, crystalline clarity that recalls the pathos of a Roy Orbison ballad, while "Body is a Blade" embraces the dark intimacy of Zauner's Pacific Northwest heroes Elliott Smith and Mount Eerie.

With help from co-producer Craig Hendrix (who also co-produced Little Big League's debut) and Jorge Elbrecht, (Ariel Pink, Tamaryn) who mixed the album, Zauner recontextualizes her bedroom pop beginnings, expanding and maturing her sound. The sheer massiveness of the big room production on Soft Sounds From Another Planet introduces listeners to a new Japanese Breakfast. Zauner's familiar, capacious voice will serve as their guide.

"Your body is a blade that moves while your brain is writhing," she sings. "Knuckled under pain you mourn but your blood is flowing." There's discernible pain in the phrasing, Zauner recognizing limitation, a lack of control, but then subverting the feeling, creating her own musical language for confronting trauma. Where Psychopomp introduced the world to Japanese Breakfast, Soft Sounds dives deeper. It builds space where there is none, and suggests that in the face of tragedy, we find ways to keep on living.

Japanese Breakfast Releases “The Body Is A Blade” Video

Today, is your lucky day. Why, you ask? Well because Japanese Breakfast has released a music video for “The Body Is A Blade,” taken from the critically acclaimed album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, out now.

The video sees Michelle Zauner on director’s duty again, with frequent collaborator Adam Kolodny as the cinematographer. Zauner states that she sought inspiration for this video by searching through old photographs in her family home; “I’ve always loved the way old photographs look. For this video I spent a lot of time searching family albums for sets of old photographs to animate.”

We get a peek behind the veil of Japanese Breakfast’s already personal music in a visceral and affecting way; single camera shots of Zauner are juxtaposed by beautiful and poignant old family photographs of her parents and especially her mother.

“I wanted this video to commemorate my mother who died three years ago today”, she continues, “It felt fitting for the song to create a really personal mixed media piece, almost like a moving scrapbook.”

Japanese Breakfast has also announced 2018 tour dates with Jay Som and Hand Habits. All dates below.

Stream and/or Purchase Soft Sounds From Another Planet:
https://japanesebreakfast.lnk.to/softsounds


Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates
10/21 – Bristol, GB @ Simple Things Festival
10/23 – Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell
10/24 – Hamburg, DE @ Hakken
10/25 – Berlin, DE @ Badenhouse
10/26 – Paris, FR @ Pop Up Du Label
10/27 – Gent, BE @ NEST
10/28 – Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
11/2 – Brighton, GB @ The Joker *SOLD OUT*
11/3 – Manchester, GB @ Soup Kitchen *SOLD OUT*
11/4 – Edinburgh, GB @ The Mash House
11/5 – Glasgow, GB @ The Hug and Pint
11/6 – Leeds, GB @ Headrow House
11/7 – London, GB @ The Dome Tufnell Park *SOLD OUT*
2/15 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos ^
2/16 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore ^
2/17 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom (Sabertooth Festival) ^
2/19 – Reno, NV @ Holland Project ^
2/23 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s ^
2/24 – Pomona, CA @ The Glasshouse ^

^ w/ Jay Som and Hand Habits

Japanese Breakfast Releases Japanese Breakquest

PLAY JAPANESE BREAKQUEST

Today, Japanese Breakfast‘s Michelle Zauner has released a RPG browser game titled Japanese Breakquest. The video game, which Zauner designed with Elaine Fath, features midi versions of all the songs from Japanese Breakfast’s critically acclaimed new album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, out now. The songs play from room to room and are available in full for download if you beat the game.

Zauner detailed the video game in conversations with Billboard and Polygon.

Set in space, the goal of the game is to collect pieces of the Machinist robot to help you defeat aliens trying to take over your ship. You can equip band merchandise and instruments, like a (Sandy) Alex G T shirt, or Frankie Cosmos’ Dan Electro to raise your characters’ stats and learn abilities like “Philly Indie Cred” and “Rip a Solo” to conquer your enemies.

No need to concern yourself with work today. Dive head first into Japanese Breakquest, we told your boss – it’s cool.

Japanese Breakfast are currently on their first-ever headlining tour in North America. Be sure to catch ’em if they come to your city! All dates below.

Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates
9/14 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s +
9/15 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda +
9/16 – Dallas, TX @ RBC +
9/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar +
9/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo +
9/21 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall +
9/22 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club +
9/23 – Eugene, OR @ HiFi +
9/25 – Portland, OR @ Holocene +
9/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret +
9/27 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile +
9/28 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux +
9/29 – Salt Lake City @ Kilby Court +
9/30 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge +
10/2 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Triple Rock +
10/4 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean +
10/5 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop +
10/6 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory +
10/7 – Toronto, ON @ The Garisson +
10/8 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB +
10/11 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair +
10/12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg +
10/21 – Bristol, GB @ Simple Things Festival
10/23 – Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell
10/24 – Hamburg, DE @ Hakken
10/25 – Berlin, DE @ Badenhouse
10/26 – Paris, FR @ Pop Up Du Label
10/27 – Gent, BE @ NEST
10/28 – Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
11/2 – Brighton, GB @ The Joker
11/3 – Manchester, GB @ Soup Kitchen
11/4 – Edinburgh, GB @ The Mash House
11/5 – Glasgow, GB @ The Hug and Pint
11/6 – Leeds, GB @ Headrow House
11/7 – London, GB @ The Dome Tufnell Park

+ w/ Mannequin Pussy & Spirit of the Beehive

Japanese Breakfast’s ‘Soft Sounds From Another Planet’ Out Now Worldwide

We’re elated to say that Soft Sounds From Another PlanetJapanese Breakfast’s second full-length – is out now worldwide. Beamed in from another galaxy (a galaxy of Michelle Zauner’s making in fact), SSFAP traverses a multitude of themes and sounds. Pop the record on your turntable / put your headphones on and you’ll see for yourself. (Disclaimer: The sheer massiveness of the big room production will knock you off your feet.) Fret not – it may be a big, new world but Zauner will be your guide.

Stream and/or Purchase Soft Sounds From Another Planet:
https://japanesebreakfast.lnk.to/softsounds

Japanese Breakfast play a free album release show tomorrow, Sat., July 15th at Union Pool in New York City. Shortly thereafter they’ll open up for Tegan and Sara on a handful of dates with a UK festival stop & US headlining tour following. Be sure to catch them while you can! Dates below.

Watch Japanese Breakfast’s Fantastic Music Videos:
“Machinist” – https://youtu.be/wujw-FH2Itw
“Road Head” – https://youtu.be/cCmLjb-ocPY

Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates
7/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool ~
7/27 – Halifax, NS @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium ^
7/28 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre ^
7/29 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom ^
7/31 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues ^
8/2 – Covington, KY @ Madison Theater ^
9/7 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat +
9/8 – Richmond, VA @ Stranger Matter +
9/9 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch festival +
9/10 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) +
9/11 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub +
9/12 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar +
9/13 – New Orleans, LA @ Hi Ho Lounge +
9/14 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s +
9/15 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda +
9/16 – Dallas, TX @ RBC +
9/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar +
9/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo +
9/21 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall +
9/22 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club +
9/23 – Eugene, OR @ HiFi +
9/25 – Portland, OR @ Holocene +
9/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret +
9/27 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile +
9/28 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux +
9/29 – Salt Lake City @ Kilby Court +
9/30 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge +
10/2 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Triple Rock +
10/4 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean +
10/5 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop +
10/6 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory +
10/7 – Toronto, ON @ The Garisson +
10/8 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB +
10/11 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair +
10/12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg +
10/21 – Bristol, GB @ Simple Things Festival
10/23 – Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell
10/24 – Hamburg, DE @ Hakken
10/25 – Berlin, DE @ Badenhouse
10/26 – Paris, FR @ Pop Up Du Label
10/27 – Gent, BE @ NEST
10/28 – Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
11/2 – Brighton, GB @ The Joker
11/3 – Manchester, GB @ Soup Kitchen
11/4 – Edinburgh, GB @ The Mash House
11/5 – Glasgow, GB @ The Hug and Pint
11/6 – Leeds, GB @ Headrow House
11/7 – London, GB @ The Dome Tufnell Park

* w/ (Sandy) Alex G & Cende
~ Free Record Release Show w/ Yohuna (Starts at 2PM)
^ w/ Tegan & Sara
+ w/ Mannequin Pussy & Spirit of the Beehive

Japanese Breakfast Shares New Video for “Road Head”

Today, Japanese Breakfast has shared a music video for “Road Head,” the latest from Soft Sounds From Another Planet, the much anticipated follow up to the critically acclaimed Psychopomp. Of the self-directed video, Michelle Zauner says: “‘Road Head’ is the fifth music video Adam Kolodny and I have collaborated on. For this one we wanted to focus on staging and an exaggerated color palette. We were inspired by Fallen Angels and Twin Peaks.”

The visual hovers between dream and reality, it all feels so normal – but who’s the guy in the cloak? Creeping claustrophobia, saturated shadows, it’s a perfect accompaniment for a song about the last chest compression in attempt to resuscitate a doomed relationship.

Soft Sounds From Another Planet is out next Friday, July 14th.

Pre-order it here: https://japanesebreakfast.lnk.to/softsounds

Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates
7/6 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
7/7 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
7/8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
7/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool ~
7/27 – Halifax, NS @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium ^
7/28 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre ^
7/29 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom ^
7/31 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues ^
8/2 – Covington, KY @ Madison Theater ^
9/7 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat +
9/8 – Richmond @ Stranger Matter +
9/9 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch festival +
9/10 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) +
9/11 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub +
9/12 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar +
9/13 – New Orleans, LA @ Hi Ho Lounge +
9/14 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s +
9/15 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda +
9/16 – Dallas, TX @ RBC +
9/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar +
9/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo +
9/21 – San Francisco @ Swedish American Hall +
9/22 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club +
9/23 – Eugene, OR @ HiFi +
9/25 – Portland, OR @ Holocene +
9/26 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret +
9/27 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile +
9/28 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux +
9/29 – Salt Lake City @ Kilby Court +
9/30 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge +
10/2 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Triple Rock +
10/4 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean +
10/5 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop +
10/6 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory +
10/7 – Toronto, ON @ The Garisson +
10/8 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB +
10/11 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair +
10/12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg +
10/21 – Bristol, GB @ Simple Things Festival
10/23 – Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell
10/24 – Hamburg, DE @ Hakken
10/25 – Berlin, DE @ Badenhouse
10/26 – Paris, FR @ Pop Up Du Label
10/27 – Gent, BE @ NEST
10/28 – Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
11/2 – Brighton, GB @ The Joker
11/3 – Manchester, GB @ Soup Kitchen
11/4 – Edinburgh, GB @ The Mash House
11/5 – Glasgow, GB @ The Hug and Pint
11/6 – Leeds, GB @ Headrow House
11/7 – London, GB @ The Dome Tufnell Park

* w/ (Sandy) Alex G & Cende
~ Free Record Release Show w/ Yohuna (Starts at 2PM)
^ w/ Tegan & Sara
+ w/ Mannequin Pussy & Spirit of the Beehive

PRAISE FOR SOFT SOUNDS FROM ANOTHER PLANET:

“Another great Japanese Breakfast album in the style of Psychopomp would’ve been a gift, but this is something better. It’s proof that we’re only beginning to glimpse Zauner’s capacity for evolution.” –Pitchfork

“Mines the dark drama of Vangelis and the melancholic fall-out from Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak.” –NPR

“Japanese Breakfast follows up one of our favorite songs of the year with another absolutely lovely jam from her forthcoming LP” –Gorilla vs Bear

Soft Sounds is shaping up to be just as multifaceted and varied as Zauner’s first.” –Stereogum

“Critics everywhere best start making room on their Best of 2017 lists… ‘Machinist’ is proof that Zauner is growing and changing in an adventurous, unafraid way. Even the sky isn’t the limit.” –Paste Magazine

tour dates

10/21/17

Bristol, UK - Simple Things Festival

10/23/17

Cologne, DE - Blue Shell

10/24/17

Hamburg, DE - Hakken

10/25/17

Berlin, DE - Badehouse

10/26/17

Paris, FR - Pop Up Du Label

10/27/17

Ghent, BE - NEST

10/28/17

Amsterdam, NL - London Calling at Paradiso
See all upcoming shows »

video

The Body Is A Blade
by Japanese Breakfast
Road Head
by Japanese Breakfast
Machinist
by Japanese Breakfast
Everybody Wants To Love You
by Japanese Breakfast
Jane Cum
by Japanese Breakfast