Toronto’s Velvet Underground’s intimate setting was the perfect space to welcome Japanese Breakfast. The experimental pop project of Michelle Zauner, formerly lead of emo band Little Big League, combines Zauner’s dreamy, soaring vocals with eerie, resounding guitar that filled the small space.
Their set was composed of a blend of new songs, debuted from their upcoming album Soft Sounds From Another Planet due on July 14th, and favourites like “Everybody Wants To Love You” that had everyone swaying. Their new songs appeared to have more synths and repeating patterns than did their first album, showing that they’re able to diversify. (They are, however, continuing the band’s pattern of less-than-proper names, as the other title mentioned was called “Road Head”.)
It was easy to drift away and become lost in the endless patterns of their music. Although the vocals, their most distinctive feature, should have been louder, they maintained their unique sound while chatting with the crowd (Zauner joked that one of their new releases was about “her ex-boyfriend, Drake” and mentioned that she was excited to eat hot pot after–very relatable).
During her last song, Zauner slid off stage and sashayed her way through the crowd before throwing her body back to belt out the last few words. This song, “Machinist”, the first single from their new album, might be their most distinctive one to date, with an eerie, Blade Runner-esque feel (especially since it’s about being in love with a robot). It made for a stunning, singular ending to a stellar show.
They’re accompanied on this North Amercian tour by openers Cende, whose laid-back rock vibe recalled Surfer Blood and The Kooks, and headliners (Sandy) Alex G, whose lo-fi, clenched-teeth singing had the crowd dancing along. If they’re dropping by your city, they’re well worth a listen.
Check out some tunes off the new album Soft Sounds From Another Planet