Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds From Another Planet

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There's some discussion of this on the overlooked albums thread, but it's one of my favourite albums of the year and deserves more attention.

Matt DC, Monday, 2 October 2017 19:06 (three years ago) link

Genuinely surprised that ILM hasn't gone mad for this, it does most of what I want an indie record to do in 2017.

Matt DC, Monday, 2 October 2017 19:07 (three years ago) link

oh hey a friend just proposed i see these guys with them -- sounds like you're saying I should? I've never heard of them besides 20 minutes ago when this guy brought them up, and now .

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 October 2017 19:08 (three years ago) link

I really liked Psychopomp but haven't been able to get into this anywhere near as much. It's nowhere near as immediate and the dreamy synth haze is gone.

ufo, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 00:40 (three years ago) link

They're good. Michelle is a star

ein Sexmonster (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 03:49 (three years ago) link

That's a nice album. Not revolutionary but solid indie with pop touches.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 10:24 (three years ago) link

Bob Boilen NPR indie

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 12:21 (three years ago) link

But good at that

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 12:23 (three years ago) link

I guess I need to listen to Psychopomp then. Still, 'Boyish' is one of the most affecting songs I've heard this year.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 4 October 2017 08:18 (three years ago) link

Going to see them next month. Can't wait.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Wednesday, 4 October 2017 20:24 (three years ago) link

I liked Psychopomp a lot, but Soft Sounds has grabbed me so much more. The second half in particular is very strong. Till Death is just devastating, especially that key change where she sings, "teach me to breathe". Some of it reminds me of the more mellow moments on the last Angel Olsen album.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 4 October 2017 22:35 (three years ago) link

i meant to listen to this earlier but only got around to it today and wow, what an upgrade from psychopomp (which is already v good), what an impressive record

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 5 October 2017 15:16 (three years ago) link

I like them a lot--not as in love with Soft Sounds but agree that the second half is where the guts of the album is

Randall Jarrell (dandydonweiner), Thursday, 5 October 2017 20:12 (three years ago) link

great recommendation Matt

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 6 October 2017 04:13 (three years ago) link

I'm a fan, some nice stuff to admire and not much to dislike. Production is uber wonderful on new one.

calstars, Friday, 6 October 2017 04:35 (three years ago) link

"You gave road head on a turnpike exit"

calstars, Sunday, 8 October 2017 14:38 (three years ago) link

This show was really good btw, recommend seeing them

Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, 8 October 2017 18:20 (three years ago) link

kinda stuck on the first track "diving woman"

Week of Wonders (Ross), Monday, 9 October 2017 17:17 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Diving woman is one of the finest tracks of 2017. Some weird mix of
Stupid girl
By garbage
And goldfrapp. Classic

Week of Wonders (Ross), Saturday, 28 October 2017 08:13 (three years ago) link

I actually agree that this really takes off in the second half, the first few track are good but it's the Spectorish register shift in the second half that really made me fall for it.

Matt DC, Sunday, 29 October 2017 14:36 (three years ago) link

I really like this album, too. Probably in my top 5 of the year.

Beret McKesson (jaymc), Sunday, 29 October 2017 16:12 (three years ago) link

Yeah, this is firmly in my top five too.

I keep getting, "I can't get you off my mind, I can't get you off in general" stuck in my head.

kitchen person, Sunday, 29 October 2017 17:39 (three years ago) link

They are ok, sometime generic indie though

nostormo, Sunday, 29 October 2017 20:33 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

Still playing Soft Sounds From Another Planet at least once a week.

I'm excited for the soundtrack she's doing for a computer game next year. The song she did for the trailer is stunning.


kitchen person, Sunday, 22 July 2018 22:21 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

A hell of a writer.


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 02:09 (two years ago) link

that was bittersweet

21st savagery fox (m bison), Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:25 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Excellent new single from these guys.


kitchen person, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 15:41 (three months ago) link

Adore this band and think "Soft Sounds" was one of the best indie rock albums of the 10s. New single is great.

“After spending the last five years writing about grief, I wanted our follow up to be about joy,” Zauner said in a statement. “For me, a third record should feel bombastic and so I wanted to pull out all the stops for this one. I wrote ‘Be Sweet’ with Jack Tatum from Wild Nothing a few years ago. I’ve been holding onto it for so long and am so excited to finally put it out there.”


Indexed, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 16:51 (three months ago) link

this is nice, i like how strongly her melodic voice comes through despite the stylistic shift

ufo, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 11:42 (three months ago) link

This really reminds me of Paramore's After Laughter. Probably my most highly anticipated album of the year now.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 14:54 (three months ago) link

one month passes...


oh this one's really nice too

ufo, Friday, 9 April 2021 02:10 (two months ago) link

I love that. Half way through it turns into something really special.

kitchen person, Friday, 9 April 2021 03:55 (two months ago) link

oh man this is great! really looking forward to this

Indexed, Friday, 9 April 2021 15:44 (two months ago) link

"Be Sweet" refuses to leave my head. Help!

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 9 April 2021 15:45 (two months ago) link

She is doing a lot of press around her new book, Crying in H Mart. You can read an excerpt here


She was the guest on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me this week, which was enjoyable


Indexed, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 16:39 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

Latest single might be my favourite yet.


kitchen person, Saturday, 22 May 2021 18:31 (one month ago) link

i don't like it quite as much as the last two but i still have very high expectations for this album with all the tracks so far

ufo, Saturday, 22 May 2021 21:52 (one month ago) link

album leaked and it's wonderful

"slide tackle" is this gorgeous shimmering house-y sophistipop thing

ufo, Tuesday, 25 May 2021 02:47 (four weeks ago) link

arrangements are so good, this is a huge step up for her. kind of a 1975-esque 'i can do anything i want' eclecticism to it

ufo, Tuesday, 25 May 2021 03:08 (four weeks ago) link

"slide tackle" is the best song ever

ufo, Tuesday, 25 May 2021 03:26 (four weeks ago) link

Album of the year by an absolute mile. As you say ufo, the arrangements are just wonderful. It's such a bright beautiful glistening record that has arrived at the perfect time.

Really hope people on here get behind this.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 26 May 2021 02:02 (four weeks ago) link

it's certainly one of my absolute favourites this year

i really didn't like the sound of her last record but this one puts it into context better, i can hear what she was going for now with the arrangements on it even if they didn't really succeed to me in the way the new album's arrangements do. the much more colourful palette on this one improves things so much

ufo, Wednesday, 26 May 2021 02:31 (four weeks ago) link


orchestral version of Be Sweet

gman59, Saturday, 29 May 2021 17:18 (three weeks ago) link

between this and the wolf alice album it's a great day for rock albums with grand sweeping ambitious arrangements

ufo, Friday, 4 June 2021 04:30 (two weeks ago) link

between this and the wolf alice album it's a great day for rock albums with grand sweeping ambitious arrangements

― ufo

Yeah, these two albums are going to be on heavy rotation over the next few weeks. Probably my two favourites of the year at this point.

kitchen person, Friday, 4 June 2021 14:44 (two weeks ago) link

Indeed, it's a lovely listen. Looking forward to the fall show.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 June 2021 14:49 (two weeks ago) link

I'm not getting yet what this album is trying to do, but will keep listening until I hear something

(I liked this band when I saw them play a few years back but they were more rock then, I think? Or maybe just their live show is more rock)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:04 (two weeks ago) link

wasn't sold on the horns on the first track, but "slide tackle" has me fully on board

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:06 (two weeks ago) link

xp this is definitely a bit of a stylistic departure (but completely for the better imo)

ufo, Friday, 4 June 2021 15:08 (two weeks ago) link

I'm not getting yet what this album is trying to do

I have the same problem, and I liked the pre-release tracks.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:08 (two weeks ago) link

It may sound strange but if it helps, it reminds me obliquely of St. Etienne (less the dance side, obv.)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 June 2021 15:10 (two weeks ago) link

i don't think the vibe is significantly different from the pre-release tracks, "posing in bondage" in particular seems to be a decent indication of what the album encompasses

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:11 (two weeks ago) link

favorite moment so far, honestly, might be when she returns to a bit of her nu-gaze roots on "sit"

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:12 (two weeks ago) link

xxp yeah saint etienne is a decent comparison, and of course "slide tackle" is even a bit reminiscent of the dance side

ufo, Friday, 4 June 2021 15:14 (two weeks ago) link

i think the only thing i don't like on this album is those weird pitch-shifted backing vocals on "savage good boy", no idea what she was going for there

ufo, Friday, 4 June 2021 15:15 (two weeks ago) link

that's precisely what made me go wtf in an uncomplimentary way. It reminded me of one of Mitski's schtickier moments.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:17 (two weeks ago) link

anyone else getting "rainbow connection" vibes from "tactics"? not in a bad way, it's graceful but not drippy.

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:29 (two weeks ago) link

oh i totally get that yeah, a lot of the album has that sort of feeling to it

ufo, Friday, 4 June 2021 15:33 (two weeks ago) link

Between this, Liz Phair, Wolf Alice, and Garbage's upcoming album, it's been a strong two weeks for strong women making loud as shit music.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 4 June 2021 15:35 (two weeks ago) link

Going to throw in a band out of Manchester I just learned about earlier this week, Witch Fever. This pretty damn well shreds.


Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 June 2021 16:44 (two weeks ago) link

"Posing in Bondage" seems like a good remix candidate.

intern at pelican brief consulting (Simon H.), Friday, 4 June 2021 17:05 (two weeks ago) link

this album really captures everything i loved about "in heaven" just in high fidelity


here's a good interview about the making of the record - ryan from crying worked on "slide tackle"!

ufo, Friday, 4 June 2021 17:14 (two weeks ago) link

"Posing in Bondage" is a stunner

Indexed, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 14:49 (two weeks ago) link

wonderful album to listen to on this sticky, humid day

nxd, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 15:00 (two weeks ago) link

Really great merch, too


Indexed, Friday, 11 June 2021 20:05 (one week ago) link

How did I never hear about this?



Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner has joined forces with Crying’s Ryan Galloway for a new quarantine project called BUMPER. Today, they’ve announced their debut EP pop songs 2020, which is officially out tomorrow (September 4) but you can stream in its entirety now. Listen to the four-track project below (via Rolling Stone).

Zauner and Galloway live three blocks apart from one another in New York City, but haven’t seen each other in person since the pandemic began earlier this year. They started sharing tracks for the new EP over email back in June.

Indexed, Monday, 14 June 2021 16:30 (one week ago) link

it was a nice little thing. i posted about it in the crying thread but not much discussion. galloway also co-produced "slide tackle" from the new one which was the standout

ufo, Monday, 14 June 2021 16:35 (one week ago) link

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