Sometimes I hear a song from a new band and I think “Wow. That was great. I can’t wait until this album comes out.” Five minutes of googling later I find that the record came out a year ago and that it is not even the band’s first record. That is the case with Japanese Breakfast, whose amazing second album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, was actually released on July 14, 2017.
Apparently I have been missing out on something great. After multiple listens of Japanese Breakfast’s “new” record and their 2016 debut Psychopomp, I have another favorite band to obsess over.
Japanese Breakfast started as a side project of Michelle Zauner. Zauner is a member of the Philadelphia band Little Big League. She moved to Oregon after her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.
The band has a great indie pop sound that I love. The first record has a great shoegaze/lo-fi vibe. The second album leans towards a slicker style that contains doses of dream pop.
The song which caught my attention is the first track off Soft Sounds From Another Planet. “Driving Woman” is an ethereal release of energy that has a brilliant spacey tempo.
Baltimore’s Beach House is an inescapable comparison to Zauner’s sounds. Aspects of her music also remind me of another West Coast band, Wooden Shjips. As I was listening to the second album, I kept hearing a Cranberries influence in Japanese Breakfast. Fittingly, they have also covered the Irish band’s “Dreams.”
Japanese Breakfast is in the opening stages of an international tour. The band have already sold out their first five shows, including a date at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer on June 3.
Check out a live performance of “Driving Woman” from WXPN: