As Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner has spent the last six years perfecting a singular brand of shimmering, lo-fi pop and taking what was once a home-recording project to some of the biggest festival stages around the world.
Before Japanese Breakfast, the Korean-American from Eugene, Oregon cut her teeth fronting the underrated, Philadelphia-based emo band Little Big League. LBL released two albums in the early 2010s before a break from the band would inspire Zauner to do a month-long, song-a-day writing challenge. The resulting cassette, 2013’s June would lay the foundation for two more self-released tapes before making the jump to Yellow K Records for 2016’s Psychopomp.
If June is an artifact of an artist on the verge of something special, her 2017 sophomore album Soft Sounds from Another Planet is the fulfillment of that promise. Zauner has traded the hermetic sound of bedroom-produced cassettes for a sound more akin to the cosmos unfurling. Gossamer synths and sparkling guitars open into a genre-free expanse that manages to pull elements of krautrock, shoegaze, and Pacific Northwest indie pop into one concise package. This exploratory sound remains tethered to reality by Zauner’s unvarnished lyricism, as she tackles everything from the Asian-American experience to introspective looks at road head and body dysmorphia.
Still, anyone familiar with Japanese Breakfast knows it would be futile to discuss Zauner’s work without touching on her keen aesthetic sense that has made Japanese Breakfast just as much of a force visually as it is sonically. Two years removed from Soft Sounds and a newfound foray into directing, it’s clear that she is poised for a breakthrough. Increasingly, it seems that seeing Japanese Breakfast at 2019’s Sled Island may be your last chance to see Zauner before she’s filling arenas.
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- 3 Moonjask 36?
- A Pact Between Strangers A.Y.E. & The Extraordinary Gentlemen Amy Nelson An Ant And An Atom Anchoress Ancient Pig Andy & The Dannys Ansley Simpson anybodys ANZU Apples Aruba Astral Swans
- B*les & The Suede Bad Bodies Barn Burner BB Beach Body Beach Season Big Evil Rat Black Belt Eagle Scout Black Thunder Blessed Blue Odeur Blue Youth Body Lens Bog Bodies Bonnie Doon Bored Décor Bridal Party Bud Frasier & The Electric Razors Bully
- Calisthenics Carbolizer Cartel Madras Cass McCombs Cate Le Bon Cedric Noel Chandra Cheap Heat Chron Goblin The Comet Is Coming Corinthian Counterfeit Jeans Crom/Dam CROTCH Crystal Eyes Culled
- Dada Centauri Dark Time Dead Fibres Dead Friends Death Bells Denimachine Diamondtown DJ Dine & Dash DJ Kimleestar DJ Roy LT Dopey's Robe DRI HIEV DTSQ dumb
- Energy Slime Episode EXITS
- The Faps Feed Dogs Fly Pan Am Foldhed Future Womb
- Garbage Dreams The Garrys Ghost Woman Gloin Gone Cosmic Graham Van Pelt Griefwalker GYM Tonic
- Haf n' haf Hairnet Har Mar Superstar HARAHELLS Heavydive Hermitess Holy Drone Travellers HomeSick Hop Along housepanther hundredmillionthousand HYMM
- Ian Blurton's Future Now Ig Bo Lyn Intimacy
- J Blissette And The Pink Bandana Orchestra Jack Harlow Jack Ryan Jae Sterling Japanese Breakfast JayWood Jeans Degrees Jessica Pratt Jiajia Li Jo Passed jock tears Jom Comyn Jonathan Kawchuk JPEGMAFIA Julien Baker Justin Wright
- Kee Avil Kellarissa Kestrels Kid Congo Powers + the Pink Monkey Birds King Ayisoba Kowloon Walled City
- L CON L.A. FOSTER LA Cop Lab Coast LAPS Lashes Le1f Lemongrab Leucrocuta Lex Leosis lié Life In Vacuum Liquor Mountain Little Destroyer Louis Cza The Black Greek God Lubomyr Melnyk Lucid 44 LYRIQUE
- Man or Astro-Man? The Mandates maneater Marlaena Moore Matthew Cardinal Megamall Melted Mirror The Messthetics (feat. members of Fugazi) Michael Christmas milk Mire Mood Change Motherhood Mujahedeen Muqata'a My Nu Leng
- Nailbiter Natural Selection DJs Natural Sympathies Necking NEEDS NETRVNNER Nice Apple No Brainer No Frills NOV3L NOVEMBER numnum
- OAKK Oblivians Obnox Old Apartments The Orange Kyte Ouri
- Palm Oil Pancake Paradise Peach Pyramid Peeling Physical Copies Pill Crusher The Pinc Lincolns Polly Dactic Pope Joan Possum Praises Psychic Pollution Pudding Pyramid Schema
- Quaker Parents
- R. Flex Raeburn Raf Wilcot Rapsody Rip Room
- Samantha Savage Smith Sawlung Screaming Females Screaming Targets Sections Selci The Sex Geckos Shirley & The Pyramids shitlord fuckerman The Shiverettes The Sick Things Silvering Sinjin Hawke + Zora Jones Live AV Sinzere Sister Ray Sister Suzie Slow Down Molasses Slow Tide Slut Prophet Smokey & the Feeelings Snake River soft cure Speed Strips Squids Squirrel Flower Stef Chura Stripmall Sun Up Sun Down Sunglaciers Symfan Syngja
- Tarot Tasha TBA Territories Thanya Iyer The This Thom & the Tomcats Thomas Thomas TORCHE TORRES Touching God
- Uncanny Valley
- Vailhalen VICTORIES!
- Wangled Teb WASIU What A Time w/ Teddy Celebration & Friends William Basinski Window Lamp Wine Lips Wish Lash The WON'Ts Woodhawk Worriers
- Year of Glad Yep