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 “Boyish,” On Tour Now

Soft Sounds From Another Planet Out 7/14
https://japanesebreakfast.lnk.to/softsounds

Kick! Kick kick snare. So begins “Boyish,” the new single from Japanese Breakfast off her upcoming album Soft Sounds From Another Planet. That classic sashay welcomes a lush swell of strings that could make the coldest of hearts swoon. Of the song, Michelle Zauner says “Craig Hendrix [band member and the album’s co-producer] and I wanted to produce this sort of grandiose Roy Orbison-esque ballad. We wanted the chorus to have big arrangements, lots of harmonies and synth strings, to create a really sweeping, melancholic effect that mirrored the nature of the lyrics. The song is about jealousy and sexual incompetence. It’s about feeling ugly.”

The follow up to Japanese Breakfast’s critically acclaimed debut is a work of self-reflection that looks out at the cosmos in search of healing, finding inspiration in science fiction, outer space, and the Mars One Project. Soft Sounds From Another Planet is available for pre-order now and due out July 14th.

Japanese Breakfast has also announced a free record release show matinee at Brooklyn, NY’s Union Pool on July 15th. The band is currently on tour with (Sandy) Alex G and Cende, and has upcoming dates with Tegan and Sara. All dates below.

Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates:
6/7 – Orlando, FL @ The Social *
6/9 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall *
6/10 – Austin, TX @ The Parish *
6/11 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/13 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
6/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex *
6/16 – San Diego, CA @ The Irenic *
6/17 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room *
6/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
6/20 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
6/21 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
6/22 – Portland, OR @ Holocene *
6/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
6/25 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
6/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
6/28 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
6/29 – Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness *
6/30 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s *
7/1 – Detroit, MI @ El Club *
7/2 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground *
7/4 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
7/5 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
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 ^
10/23 – Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell
10/25 – Berlin, DE @ Badenhouse
11/2 – Brighton, GB @ The Joker
11/6 – Leeds, GB @ Headrow House
11/7 – London, GB @ The Dome Tufnell Park

* w/ (Sandy) Alex G & Cende
^ w/ Tegan & Sara
~ Free Record Release Show w/ Yohuna (Starts at 2PM)

Japanese Breakfast Announces New Album, ‘Soft Sounds From Another Planet’, Out July 14th

Pre-Order Soft Sounds From Another Planet :: https://japanesebreakfast.lnk.to/softsounds

A swirl of wind folds into a spoken-word intro, moves into autotune 80s pop bliss, and caps off with a sulty saxophone solo. This shape-shifting single, titled “Machinist”, is the delectable first taste of Soft Sounds From Another Planet, the new album from Japanese Breakfast out July 14th (you can pre-order it here).

The follow up to Japanese Breakfast’s critically acclaimed debut is a work of self-reflection that looks out at the cosmos in search of healing, finding inspiration in science fiction, outer space, and the Mars One Project. This influence is most apparent in the video for “Machinist,” Michelle Zauner’s fourth music video collaboration with House of Nod’s Adam Kolodny.

Video director, Zauner says “the song is a sci-fi narrative about a woman who falls in love with a robot. In the video she hallucinates on rocket fuel and tears apart her spaceship in an attempt to build a body for her robot lover,” while director of photography, Adam Kolodny, says they “were inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, 2046, and The Fifth Element.”

Japanese Breakfast is currently on tour with Slowdive and has upcoming dates with Tegan and Sara, (Sandy) Alex G and Cende. All dates at the bottom of the post.

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“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.

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.

Watch The Official Video For “Machinist” ::

Soft Sounds From Another Planet
1. Diving Woman
2. Road Head
3. Machinist
4. Planetary Ambience
5. Soft Sounds From Another Planet
6. Boyish
7. 12 Steps
8. Jimmy Fallon Big
9. Body Is A Blade
10. Till Death
11. This House
12. Here Come The Tubular Bells

Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates:
5/5 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall ~
5/6 – Montreal, QC @ Olympia Theatre ~
5/7 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ~
5/8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
5/9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
6/2 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
6/3 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
6/4 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (Back Room) *
6/6 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) *
6/7 – Orlando, FL @ The Social *
6/9 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall *
6/10 – Austin, TX @ The Parish *
6/11 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/13 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
6/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex *
6/16 – San Diego, CA @ The Irenic *
6/17 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room *
6/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
6/20 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
6/21 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
6/22 – Portland, OR @ Holocene *
6/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
6/25 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
6/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
6/28 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
6/29 – Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness *
6/30 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s *
7/1 – Detroit, MI @ El Club *
7/2 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground *
7/4 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
7/5 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
7/6 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
7/7 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
7/8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
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 ^

~ w/ Slowdive
* w/ (Sandy) Alex G & Cende
^ w/ Tegan & Sara

Japanese Breakfast Releases “Everybody Wants To Love You” Video

How about a slice of Friday night for your Tuesday morning? Today Japanese Breakfast has shared a brand-new music video for “Everybody Wants To Love You.” The third installment co-directed by Michelle Zauner (principal songwriter) and Adam Kolodny, the video follows a bar-hopping Zauner through NYC, multiple games of Pac Man, and to the top of a semi. Styled by Celeste Welch, Zauner is wearing a hanbok, a traditional Korean dress, that her mother wore to her wedding.

It’s a party you don’t wanna miss out on. As is their forthcoming European tour! Japanese Breakfast is currently on the road with Porches in North America and will tour Europe later in the autumn. All dates below.

Japanese Breakfast’s critically acclaimed debut album, Psychopomp, is out now via Yellow K Records in North America and via Dead Oceans in the rest of the world. You can purchase your copy of Psychopomp via Pledge Music, iTunes, Amazon, or at your local record shop!
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Japanese Breakfast’s ‘Psychopomp’ Out Now

JB art

Japanese Breakfast‘s critically acclaimed album, Psychopomp, taps into a timeless and evasive pop tradition – where drawing on the personal turns universal. The record explores life’s inherent juxtapositions – life, death; love, pain; the present, the afterlife – through the lens of principal songwriter, Michelle Zauner. Today we’re elated to share Psychopomp with territories outside of North America (where it was released by Yellow K Records).

You can purchase your copy of Psychopomp via Pledge Music, iTunes, Amazon, or at your local record shop! Get to know Michelle a little better with this fantastic interview over at Noisey. Still on the fence? Don’t take our word for it:


“…deeply reflective, and consistently compelling”
Loud and Quiet

“You’ll want to laugh five seconds after wanting to cry; and then you’ll just want to dance.”
London in Stereo

“A collection of smart, steamy pop with intelligence and bite”
The Line of Best Fit

“Self-aware and unapologetic, the foundations of Psychopomp are built on needs – emotional, physical, spiritual”
Noisey UK

“Michelle Zauner’s ‘Psychopomp’ album is one of the year’s most deeply personal debuts”
DIY

This fall Japanese Breakfast will tour extensively with Porches in North America, returning to the UK in October. Check out all the dates here.

tour dates

06/24/17

Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court  w/ (Sandy) Alex G and Cende

06/25/17

Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge  w/ (Sandy) Alex G and Cende

06/27/17

Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry  w/ (Sandy) Alex G and Cende

06/28/17

Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge  w/ (Sandy) Alex G and Cende

06/29/17

Columbus, OH - Double Happiness  w/ (Sandy) Alex G and Cende

06/30/17

Lakewood, OH - Mahall's  w/ (Sandy) Alex G and Cende

07/01/17

Detroit, MI - El Club  w/ (Sandy) Alex G and Cende
See all upcoming shows »

video

Machinist
by Japanese Breakfast
Everybody Wants To Love You
by Japanese Breakfast
Jane Cum
by Japanese Breakfast