Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast performing in 2018
Japanese Breakfast performing in 2018
Background information
OriginPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Eugene, Oregon
Genres
Years active2013 (2013)–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitejapanesebreakfast.rocks
Members

Japanese Breakfast is an indie rock band headed by Korean-American musician, director, and author Michelle Zauner. The band released its first studio album Psychopomp (2016) on Yellow K Records, followed by Soft Sounds from Another Planet (2017) and Jubilee (2021), both on Dead Oceans.

History

2013–2016: Early releases

The first Japanese Breakfast release was June (2013), the result of a project where Zauner and Rachel Gagliardi recorded and posted one song every day for the month of June.[1] These songs were posted daily on the Tumblr blog rachelandmichelledojune. As Japanese Breakfast, Zauner also participated in a song project with musicians Gabrielle Smith, Florist, Frankie Cosmos, and Small Wonder. All of their songs were posted daily on the Tumblr blog may5to12songs. Zauner released her songs from the project on Bandcamp as a digital album entitled Where Is My Great Big Feeling? on June 6, 2014, followed shortly by American Sound on July 24. Both were released as the cassette tape American Sound/Where Is My Great Big Feeling.[2][3] Re-recorded versions of several songs from these releases appeared on the first two Japanese Breakfast albums.

While in Oregon with her family, Zauner continued recording as Japanese Breakfast. She described the project as having much more to say after Tropical Jinx, the 2014 studio album by Little Big League. Originally Zauner began to record samples of music as a meditative exercise and "instant gratification".[4]

2016–2021: Psychopomp and Soft Sounds from Another Planet

Zauner performing live with her band in 2017

On April 1, 2016, Japanese Breakfast released its first studio album, Psychopomp, under Yellow K Records. Zauner described the debut album as a confrontation of her mother's death[5] as well as "dark and heavy-handed", although she had a desire to make the music urgent[6] and "sonically upbeat".[4] On June 23, 2016, it was announced Japanese Breakfast had been signed to Dead Oceans. The same day, Zauner released the video for the song "Jane Cum". The video, directed by Adam Kolodny, was inspired by the film The Craft, and depicts Zauner and three friends gathering objects for rituals in the woods.[7]

On May 4, 2017, Zauner released the single "Machinist" and announced her second studio album, Soft Sounds from Another Planet, which released on July 14, 2017.[8] The music video for "Machinist" was directed by Zauner, in collaboration with Adam Kolodny. It stars Zauner as a woman who falls in love with a robot and tears apart her spaceship trying to build a body for it.[9] The song "Boyish" was released as a single on June 7, 2017.[10] A third single from the album, "Road Head", was released on July 6, 2017.[11] On October 19, 2017, a music video for "Body is a Blade" was released. It was animated using old family photographs and video of Zauner visiting locations from the photos. She described it as "a really personal mixed media piece, almost like a moving scrapbook".[12] On February 13, 2018, the music video for "Boyish" was released. It depicts a girl going to a high school dance, where Zauner and her band, accompanied by fellow indie musician Leslie Bear, are playing a set.[13] The video was directed by Zauner, who described it as her "favorite video yet".[14] A game entitled Japanese BreakQuest was released alongside Soft Sounds from Another Planet.[15] The game features all songs from the album as 8-bit MIDI tracks which were created by Peter Bradley, and the game was developed by Zauner and game designer Elaine Fath.[15]

In 2018, it was revealed during E3 2018 that Japanese Breakfast would be providing the soundtrack for indie game Sable.[16] The game was initially set to be released in 2019, but was delayed twice.[17] The game and its soundtrack were released on September 23, 2021.[18]

In 2019, Japanese Breakfast released two singles under the W Hotels music label, "Essentially" and a cover of the Tears for Fears song, "Head Over Heels".

2021–present: Jubilee

Zauner performing live with her band at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle in 2021

On March 2, 2021, Zauner released the song "Be Sweet", the first single from the third Japanese Breakfast album, Jubilee, which was released by Dead Oceans on June 4, 2021. The self-directed music video for "Be Sweet" features Marisa "Missy" Dabice and Zauner acting as FBI Agents tracking aliens.[19] On March 15, Japanese Breakfast performed the songs "Be Sweet" and "Jimmy Fallon Big!" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[20][21] A second single, "Posing In Bondage", was released on April 8, 2021. The video, also directed by Zauner, features Harmony Tividad as a grocery store employee.[22]

The third and final single from Jubilee, "Savage Good Boy", was released on May 19, 2021.[23] The video, directed by Zauner, features actor Michael Imperioli as a billionaire in a bunker, with Zauner as a young woman he has convinced to live underground with him.[24] It is a prequel to the video for "Posing in Bondage".

On June 10, a cover by Japanese Breakfast of their song "Be Sweet" in the fictional Simlish language was released for the eleventh expansion pack for The Sims 4.[25]

Music videos

Zauner has directed all of the music videos for Japanese Breakfast, except for "In Heaven" and "Jane Cum", which were directed by Adam Kolodny, and "Everybody Wants to Love You", which Zauner and Kolodny co-directed. Kolodny has been director of photography for all of Japanese Breakfast's videos.[26] Zauner and Kolodny have called the music video for "Jane Cum" their "least favorite music video" they have made together.[26]

In 2018, Zauner directed the music video for the Japanese Breakfast song "Boyish", which she described as her "magnum opus".[27]

Musical style

Michelle Geslani of Consequence of Sound has described Japanese Breakfast's sound as experimental pop.[28] Anna Gaca of Spin has described it as lo-fi.[7]

Discography

Studio albums

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US
[29]
US
Alt

[30]
US
Indie

[31]
US
Rock

[32]
GER
[33]
NZ
[34]
SCO
[35]
UK
[36]
UK
Indie

[37]
Psychopomp
Soft Sounds from Another Planet
  • Released: July 14, 2017[39]
  • Label: Dead Oceans
[A]18[B]46
Jubilee
  • Released: June 4, 2021[42]
  • Label: Dead Oceans
567787711533
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released

Soundtrack albums

TitleAlbum details
Sable
  • Released: September 24, 2021
  • Label: Sony Masterworks
  • Formats: LP, digital download, streaming

EPs

TitleEP details
Japanese Breakfast on Audiotree Live

Singles

As lead artist

TitleYearChart positionsAlbum
US
AAA

[44]
US
Alt.
Air.

[45]
US
Rock
Air.

[46]
BEL
(FL)

[47]
"In Heaven"[48]2016Psychopomp
"The Woman That Loves You"[49]
"Everybody Wants to Love You"[50]
"Machinist"[51]2017Soft Sounds from Another Planet
"Boyish"[52]
"Road Head"[53]
"Glider"[54]2018Non-album singles
"Dreams"[55]
"Essentially"[56]2019
"Head Over Heels"[57]
"Be Sweet"[58]202173438[C]Jubilee
"Posing in Bondage"[59]
"Savage Good Boy"
"Paprika"[60]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist

TitleYearAlbum
"Maybes"[61]
(Giraffage featuring Japanese Breakfast)
2017Too Real

Contributions

  • Polyvinyl 4-Track Singles Series, Vol. 3 (two songs, 2042 and Posing in Bondage, 2017)

Music videos

  • "Everybody Wants To Love You" (2016)
  • "Jane Cum" (2016)
  • "In Heaven" (2016)
  • "Machinist" (2017)
  • "Road Head" (2017)
  • "The Body Is A Blade" (2017)
  • "Boyish" (2018)
  • "Be Sweet" (2021)
  • "Posing in Bondage" (2021)
  • "Savage Good Boy" (2021)

Notes

  1. ^ Soft Sounds from Another Planet did not enter the US Billboard 200 but did peak at number 9 on the Heatseekers Albums chart.[40]
  2. ^ Soft Sounds from Another Planet did not enter the NZ Top 40 Albums Chart, but peaked at number nine on the NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart.[41]
  3. ^ "Be Sweet" did not enter the Ultratop Top 50, but spent 4 weeks as an extra tip on the Ultratop Bubbling Under chart.[47]

References

  1. ^ "June - Japanese Breakfast". Bandcamp. July 1, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  2. ^ "Where Is My Great Big Feeling? - Japanese Breakfast". Bandcamp. June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  3. ^ "American Sound - Japanese Breakfast". Bandcamp. July 24, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Hannah, Andy (October 18, 2016). "In the Rugged Country: Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast tells Andy Hannah about the loss which brought her back to the Pacific Northwest". The Line of Best Fit. Archived from the original on December 25, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  5. ^ "Japanese Breakfast - Albums, Songs, and News". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  6. ^ Gardin, Russell (June 28, 2016). "Pop Music Has A Sense of Urgency: An Interview With Japanese Breakfast". FreePressHouston.com. Archived from the original on December 25, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Gaca, Anna (June 23, 2016). "Japanese Breakfast Shares 'Jane Cum' Video, Signs to Dead Oceans". Spin. Eldridge Industries. Archived from the original on May 18, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "Japanese Breakfast - Music". japanesebreakfast.rocks. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  9. ^ Gaca, Anna (May 4, 2017). "Japanese Breakfast Announces New Album, Shares "Machinist" Video". Spin. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  10. ^ "Japanese Breakfast shares new track 'Boyish'". DIY. June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  11. ^ Gotrich, Lars (July 6, 2017). "Japanese Breakfast's 'Road Head' Hits That State Between Wired And Zoned Out". NPR. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  12. ^ "Japanese Breakfast shares a new video for 'The Body Is A Blade'". DIY. October 19, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  13. ^ Rettig, James (February 13, 2018). "Japanese Breakfast – "Boyish" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  14. ^ Maicki, Salvatore (February 13, 2018). "Watch Japanese Breakfast's "Boyish" video". The Fader. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Gaca, Anna (September 14, 2017). "Play Japanese Breakfast's New Browser Game, Japanese BreakQuest". Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  16. ^ Wicks, Amanda (June 11, 2018). "Japanese Breakfast Soundtracks New Video Game "Sable"". Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  17. ^ Horti, Samuel (March 28, 2021). "Sable: Everything we know so far". Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  18. ^ Valentine, Rebekah (June 10, 2021). "Sable: Beautiful Gliding Adventure Finally Launches in September - Summer of Gaming". Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  19. ^ Leas (March 2, 2021). "Japanese Breakfast – "Be Sweet"". Stereogum. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Blistein (March 16, 2021). "Japanese Breakfast Deliver Slick 'Be Sweet' on 'Fallon'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  21. ^ Renshaw (March 16, 2021). "Watch Japanese Breakfast perform "Be Sweet" on Jimmy Fallon". The Fader. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  22. ^ Martoccio (April 8, 2021). "Japanese Breakfast Drops Spooky 'Posing in Bondage' Video, Announces Tour Dates". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  23. ^ Corcoran, Nina (May 19, 2021). "Japanese Breakfast Shares New Single "Savage Good Boy": Stream". Consequence. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  24. ^ Peters, Daniel (May 20, 2021). "Japanese Breakfast shares 'Savage Good Boy' music video starring Michael Imperioli of 'The Sopranos'". NME. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  25. ^ Campbell, Ian Carlos (June 10, 2021). "Japanese Breakfast did a Simlish cover for The Sims 4 because nonsense never gets old". The Verge. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Japanese Breakfast Breaks Down the Music Videos from Psychopomp. June 9, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  27. ^ Fine, Gabriel (March 21, 2019). "Japanese Breakfast Takes the Director's Seat". Spin. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  28. ^ Geslani, Michelle (May 4, 2017). "Japanese Breakfast announces new album, shares "Machinist" video — watch". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on May 6, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  29. ^ "Japanese Breakfast Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  30. ^ "Japanese Breakfast Chart History: Alternative Albums". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  31. ^ "Japanese Breakfast Chart History: Billboard Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  32. ^ "Japanese Breakfast Chart History: Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  33. ^ "Discographie Japanese Breakfast". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  34. ^ "Discography Japanese Breakfast". charts.nz. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  35. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  36. ^ "Japanese Breakfast". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  37. ^ Peaks on the UK Independent Albums Chart:
  38. ^ "Psychopomp by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  39. ^ "Soft Sounds from Another Planet by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  40. ^ "Japanese Breakfast Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  41. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 24, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  42. ^ "Jubilee by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  43. ^ "Japanese Breakfast on Audiotree Live - EP by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  44. ^ "Japanese Breakfast – Chart History: Triple A Songs". Billboard. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  45. ^ "Japanese Breakfast – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  46. ^ "Japanese Breakfast – Chart History: Rock Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  47. ^ a b "Discografie Japanese Breakfast". Ultratop. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  48. ^ "Japanese Breakfast – "In Heaven" (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. January 20, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  49. ^ "Japanese Breakfast – "The Woman That Loves You"". Stereogum. March 8, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  50. ^ "Everybody Wants to Love You - Single by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  51. ^ "Japanese Breakfast – "Machinist" Video". Stereogum. May 4, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  52. ^ "Boyish by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  53. ^ "Japanese Breakfast – "Road Head" Video". Sterogum. July 6, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  54. ^ "Japanese Breakfast Shares New Song "Glider": Listen". Sterogum. June 11, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  55. ^ "Japanese Breakfast shares cover of The Cranberries' "Dreams"". The FADER. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  56. ^ "Essentially - Single by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  57. ^ "Head Over Heels - Single by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  58. ^ "Be Sweet by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  59. ^ "Posing In Bondage by Japanese Breakfast on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  60. ^ "Triple A Future Releases". All Access. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  61. ^ "Maybes (feat. Japanese Breakfast) [Edit] - Single by Giraffage on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved April 28, 2021.

External links