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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 →

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Japanese Breakfast flips the script on pain in the new “In Heaven” video

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

With the release of Psychopomp this spring, songwriter / guitarist / singer Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast has received a heaping of well-deserved critical acclaim. Which is no surprise; we’ve been fans since she lived in Philly and fronted the badass rock four-piece Little Big League. This record, though, is truly some next-level stuff.

Majestic, impeccably orchestrated songs with a stunning emotional center channeling Zauner’s grief in the wake of her mother’s passing…and incredibly catchy, uplifting pop songs at that. There’s a hazy, dream-like lacquer to them, but the music itself trades in the inspiring melodies Zauner has honed over a decade and change of songwriting. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Santigold at the TLA, Japanese Breakfast at World Cafe Live, The City and I at Boot & Saddle

santigold
Santigold for WXPN| Photo by John Vettese

Santigold brings her latest LP 99¢ to the TLA tonight. The Philly native gave an outstanding performance at last year’s Made In America Festival, complete with live band and dancers. It’s safe to say that tonight’s show will be equally mesmerizing, no matter what Santi has planned. Check out “Chasing Shadows” below and pick up tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Japanese Breakfast at Ortlieb’s, Wolf Alice at Union Transfer, Roof Doctor at Lavender Town, and more…

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | Photo by Julian Master | courtesy of the artist

Japanese Breakfast holds the album release show for their acclaimed new LP Psychopomp. We’ve loved what we’ve heard so far: album singles “The Woman That Loves You”, “In Heaven”, and “Everybody Wants To Love You” have all rocked so far, and surely the rest of the album will too. Also performing will be Littler (who just released their new album Of Wandering) and Myrrias. More information can be found via the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

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Japanese Breakfast releases newest Psychopomp single, “The Woman That Loves You”

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | Photo by Julian Master | courtesy of the artist

For Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast, melody sounds like a walk in the park. On the newest single from the upcoming Psychopomp, “The Woman That Loves You”, Zauner literally walks through an ambient park of spacey synths and bitingly sharp guitars.

The past two singles from Psychopomp, “In Heaven” and “Everybody Wants To Love You”, were surfy indie-pop in a vein similar to Grimes or Fleetwood Mac. “The Woman Who Loves You” takes Zauner in a different direction while still maintaining that JB sound, like a chilling yet inviting breeze during the warm months of summer. Continue reading →