Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp
2016 – Yellow K Records
Japanese Breakfast’s Psychopomp came out this week, the debut solo record from Little Big League’s Michelle Zauner. I read that Zauner recorded these tracks (based on previous lo-fi versions) in the wake of her mom’s battle with cancer. Might explain why these renditions with musician Ned Eisenberg are heavy on the ethereal, with the voice of a siren woven throughout. I can hear the influence of Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays in Zauner’s delivery, or maybe it’s just the quality of her voice. Specifically the track “In Heaven,” one of a few songs here that deal directly with the death of her mother.
Zauner isn’t shy about mixing complicated emotions with contrasting tones and textures. Just listen to title track “Psychopomp” which bleeps slowly into existence before a brief answering machine message from, presumably, Zauner’s mom. Not to imply this record is a downer, though it does get more than a little shoegazey (in the loveliest of ways).
Sexiness is tempered with sweetness.
Damn, Japanese Breakfast!!
Japanese Breakfast is on tour now.