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Japanese Breakfast, Modern Baseball, Beach Slang and more Philly artists to contribute to Polyvinyl’s Single Series

Japanese Breakfast | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Since 2014, Illinois-based label Polyvinyl Records’ Single Series has been putting out monthly exclusive singles from their favorite artists, all recorded on the same Tascam 4-Track cassette recorder. We’ve already gotten dual singles from Ra Ra Riot, Tim Kasher, and Joyce Manor this year, and we just got word that Philly favorites Japanese Breakfast are this month’s featured artist will be featured in the series later this year.

In addition, Modern Baseball, Beach Slang, Owen, Jay Som, and more are coming out with singles in the next couple months.

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Watch Japanese Breakfast and Eskimeaux chat and perform at the New York Times

Japanese Breakfast | photo by Zachary Chick | via Japanese Breakfast's Facebook page
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Zachary Chick | via Japanese Breakfast’s Facebook page

Over the holiday, Japanese Breakfasts Michelle Zauer got together with Eskimeaux‘s Gabrielle Smith to answer some questions and perform a few songs for the New York Times. Topics of discussion include favorite moments from their co-headlining acoustic tour, advice for DIY musicians, and favorite board game.  Continue reading →

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Tiny plants and large windows are the audience of choice for Japanese Breakfast’s Out of Town Films session

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com | courtesy of the artist

Japanese Breakfast is hitting us with video after video promoting songs from her new album Psychopomp released via Yellow K Records, and I think it’s safe to say that fans are loving it. Last week, the band shared a performance of “Heft” filmed by Philadelphia collective, Out of Town Films.

The video consists largely of close cropped shots of frontwoman Michelle Zauner and bandmates performing this hazy pop song in a room bedecked with tiny potted plants and vast windows. Continue reading →

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Indie pop queens Eskimeaux and Japanese Breakfast kick off joint solo tour in December

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com | courtesy of the artist

Japanese Breakfast and Eskimeaux will team up for a tour starting this fall (and I couldn’t be more excited).

So far their are only five announced tour dates that will begin on December 14th and end on the 18th with a show on the 15th in Philly in the side chapel of the First Unitarian Church. Continue reading →

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Michelle Zauner rocks a hanbok under the el in the new Japanese Breakfast video

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | still from video

The debut LP from Michelle Zauner’s band Japanese Breakfast is creativity fueled by grief. While the songs range from poppy to heartrending, they’re to some degree informed by the passing of Zauner’s mother.

In Psychopomp‘s music video side, Zauner has approached the project with a more playful visual spirit (check out “In Heaven”), though the latest sort of splits the difference. Continue reading →

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Watch Japanese Breakfast’s Out of Town Films session, see them on tour (and in Philly!) this fall

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com | courtesy of the artist

Michelle Zauner and her bandmates in Japanese Breakfast have been blowing minds around the country on tour with Mitski this summer, and they’re gearing up for a big run with Porches this fall in support of their album Psychopomp. Released in April, the record is a brilliant airing of grief through guitar-driven dream-pop, and the band rocks the living hell out of it when they step to the stage.

We get a taste of that in their recent Out of Town Films session for “Everybody Wants To Love You,” released last week. Continue reading →

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Philly Progress Report 2016: What’s new, what’s next in the music scene

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com | courtesy of the artist

The halfway point of 2016 is nigh, making this week an opportune time to look back over the past six months and take the pulse of the Philly music scene. But in a way, that’s easier said than done. As The Key’s staff of contributors weighed in on regional releases we dig in a Facebook group conversation earlier today, the names kept on flying – from the hip-hop sphere (Hardwork MovementLushlife) to singer-songwriter folk (Birdie Busch, Rosali), indie rock (Swanning, Hurry) experimental (Nick Millevoi, Mary Lattimore) and more.

As our Marc Snitzer put it: “It’s only June and that list is huge. We all know how much talent the city boasts but when you go ahead and list it out, it’s bonafide bonkerz.”

Suffice it to say, the Philly music scene is tremendously healthy – and here’s a look at what’s made it thrive so much this year, along with our prognostications for the second half of 2016. The list is thorough but admittedly far from complete…know of anybody we forgot? Shout them out in the comments.

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Japanese Breakfast evoke the supernatural in “Jane Cum” video, land a deal with Dead Oceans

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com | courtesy of the artist

Japanese Breakfast’s debut full-length Psychopomp quickly became one of our favorite albums of the year so far. Lending its name from Greek mythology, (a psychopomp guides souls to the place of the dead) the LP touches on issues of loss, death and healing following vocalist and guitarist Michelle Zauner’s mother’s death.

The result is something sonically special, peculiar in its honesty, with pain often disguised under layers of pop-friendly melodies. In her new music video for “Jane Cum,” Zauner walks away from the upbeat, candid night out portrayed in her “In Heaven” music video out last month.

The “Jane Cum” video is exceptionally pieced together, playing more like a short suspense film with a killer soundtrack. The dreary backdrop and forest imagery combined with the black-rimmed hats and supernatural undertones made for a Twin Peaks x American Horror Story: Coven mashup that was enthralling to watch unfold. Continue reading →