Japanese Breakfast brings Soft Sounds and a string ensemble to NPR’s Tiny Desk

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Japanese Breakfast | still from video | via twitter.com/jbrekkie

Somewhere in between the release of the stunning LP Soft Sounds From Another Planet, a U.S. tour, a celebratory Philly homecoming show and a European tour, Japanese Breakfast found time to stop by NPR Music to film a Tiny Desk Concert. The intimate setting of the famed Tiny Desk provides the perfect opportunity for experimentation and often leads artists to strip down their songs into quieter, acoustic versions — and for Japanese Breakfast this happened to include the addition of some unexpected but beautifully executed string arrangements performed by members of D.C. string quartet Rogue Collective.

The band’s spacey, synth-laden tunes that we know and love are taken into another dimension entirely with this new lineup; the seven performers crowded behind the Tiny Desk don’t overwhelm the space but rather fill it to the brim with their robust, intricate sounds. And the familiar songs are no less dreamy, with bandleader Michelle Zauner’s raw vocals cutting straight to the core, building in lofty ascensions. Following emotive renditions of “Boyish” and “Till Death,” Zauner is left with just an acoustic guitar and a piano to back her in a sparse and aching, heartfelt performance of “This House.” Watch the video below via NPR Music.

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