Pin It

Soft sounds: Japanese Breakfast's intimate dream pop 

Michelle Zauner performs at Hi-Ho Lounge Sept. 13

click to enlarge japanese_breakfast_-_soft_sounds_from_another_planet_-_press.jpg

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Michelle Zauner's four albums in the past five years — two as the raw, excitable frontwoman for Philadelphia's Little Big League and two expansive-yet-introspective solo releases as Japanese Breakfast — are like different siblings from the same family, clearly related but with barely a resemblance. The divide occurred in 2016, when the illness and subsequent death of Zauner's mother spurred a move home to Oregon and an unavoidable reckoning with her grief. Debut Psychopomp (Yellow K) addresses the loss in devastating detail ("The dog's confused / She just paces around all day, she's sniffing at your empty room") and provides valuable distraction in the form of ephemeral, reverie-refracted pop music. July follow-up Soft Sounds From Another Planet (Dead Oceans) is among the most complex and rewarding records of the year, a summer-record anomaly telescopic in sound and microscopic in focus. Opening troika "Diving Woman," "Road Head" and "Machinist" touches on matriarchal history, sexual intimacy and literal and figurative space with a sonic palette of droning krautrock, dead-serious "Baker Street" sax solos and alluring dream pop. Zauner's voice is the one constant, at once husky and delicate, processed and organic, able to adapt to whatever a song asks of her. It's such affecting stuff that a trip to her Twitter feed — where she shares hilarious observations such as "I had a nightmare Rihanna was mad at me and it was the worst stress dream of my life" — may be required to decompress. Mannequin Pussy and The Spirit of the Beehive open. Tickets $12-$15.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Pin It
Submit an event

Latest in Music Previews

More by Noah Bonaparte Pais

Spotlight Events

  • Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Just Juice, Joey Cool, King Iso @ House of Blues
    225 Decatur St.

    • Mon., May 21, 8 p.m.
  • Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul @ House of Blues
    225 Decatur St.

    • Wed., May 23, 8 p.m.
  • Iceage @ Santos Bar
    1135 Decatur St.

    • Thu., May 24, 9 p.m.
  • Bayou Country Superfest @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome
    1500 Poydras St.

    • May 25-27
  • The Continental Drifters @ Tipitina's
    501 Napoleon Ave.

    • Sat., May 26, 9 p.m.

© 2018 Gambit
Powered by Foundation