Japanese Breakfast is a Philadelphia-based indie pop project of Michelle Zauner out of the indie punk band Little Big League. In 2013, she set out to do something different from the guitar-oriented stuff that she was doing, and she released a tape called “June”, which featured 30 songs: one song written and recorded every day of the month. The goal with Japanese Breakfast was to showcase her vocals and to play around with pop melodies. Even if they were dark. The project started off as a solo project, and in June 2014, she released a seven-song EP called “Where is My Great Big Feeling”. That was followed one month later by an eight-song EP called “American Sound”. These were met with warm reviews, and there was much anticipation about an album. Japanese Breakfast is now a full band, and the debut album Psychopomp, which came out via Yellow K Records on April 1 of this year.
I got something in the mailbag several weeks ago, and I received a preview copy of the album. I’ve been enjoying it very much, but I’ve been busy with life and haven’t had time to write very much. Still, though, I had this very high on my list of things to write about.
Today, the Hopscotch Music Festival announced the lineup for this autumn’s seventh annual festival. I’ve been to at least part of the festival every year except the second, and this will be my fifth consecutive year going to the whole festival. It’s the only festival I go to, and it’s the only “vacation” that I take every year. When the lineup was released this morning, I was really excited about some of the “larger print” bands like Beach House and Sylvan Esso, and I was even more excited about some of the “small print” bands like Diet Cig. Julien Baker, and of course Japanese Breakfast. There are many others that I’m already excited about and many more that I’ll become excited about as I do my research, but this one made me really happy.
There’s a little bit of a twee/c-86 feel to this song, and in that respect I’m reminded of the c-86 revival that keeps trying to gain some momentum. But underneath that twee/c-86 vibe, there’s also a bit of saucy times. Take the song’s first verse:
Can I get your number?
Can I get you into bed?
When we wake up in the morning
Will you give me lots of head
Today’s song is all of two minutes and thirteen seconds, but it’s full of jangle-y goodness, a little bit of darkness, and just a ton of fun. And the aforementioned naughty sexy time. It’s a warm spring day with nothing to do but drive around with the windows down and music blaring. This is that song that’s blaring:
“Everybody Wants to Love You” by Japanese Breakfast
The rest of the album has some different sounds, moods, and textures. This is far and away my favorite song on the album, but the whole album is very good.
Apparently, Zauner wrote this song six years when she and a friend were in a band called Birthday Girls. The rest of the songs are written exclusively by her.
You can buy the album via Bandcamp here. Get it on “clear aqua” vinyl, black vinyl, cassette, or digital download.
We don’t know the Hopscotch schedule yet, and we won’t know that until about two or three weeks before the festival. But we do know that Japanese Breakfast will be there. And that makes us happy. They had a pre-sale for 3-day wristbands, and tickets go back on sale later this week.
Stay tuned over the next four months as I’ll have a lot of focus on the bands who will be playing this year’s festival.