Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee

Regular price $ 24.99

Singer and songwriter Michelle Zauner, aka Japanese Breakfast, had a huge year in 2021. She released her first book, Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, which found her exploring her Korean heritage in the wake of her mother's death from cancer. The book reached number two on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list and paved the way for her third solo album, Jubilee. Released several months after Crying in H Mart, Jubilee works as a beautiful companion piece to her memoir, showcasing Zauner's poignant indie rock that manages to deliver big '80s-style pop hooks while still feeling rooted in her personal experiences. You don't need to read Crying in H Mart to vibe with Jubilee, but it's nice to think that both the book and the album help to illuminate Zauner's artistic point of view. As Japanese Breakfast, Zauner has always written songs that feel intimate, yet sonically expansive, but where her early work was more lo-fi (she initially started recording at home while taking care of her mother), over the years she's expanded her approach and become more confident in fleshing out her arrangements. On Jubilee, she takes this expansion even farther, crafting sweetly attenuated anthems that balance her love of tropical '80s synth pop and '90s shoegaze with a sophisticated adult contemporary aesthetic. It's an attractive mix, rife with slippery bass grooves, Day-Glo synths, and icicle-crisp guitar riffs. But while her melodies are catchy, her lyrics remain as introspective as ever. Those who read Crying in H Mart will also recognize Zauner's writerly knack for drawing upon specific images to better illuminate her emotions. On the string-accented "Kokomo, IN," she ruminates on how the feelings of a lost loved one can unexpectedly return, "manifesting like the fear of an oven left on." Even when she winks with a smiling sense of irony, placing a jazzy sax solo at the center of the buoyant Sade-esque "Slide Tackle," her lyrics cut deep. She sings, "Don't mind me while I'm tackling this void." While there is a hooky pop quality to much of Jubilee, Zauner hasn't lost any of her artier, messier inclinations, as on the brooding "Sit," where she drenches herself in grayscale waves of electric guitar fuzz and keyboard squelch. For her longtime Japanese Breakfast fans, Zauner's one-two punch of having a major book success followed by an album that gets more attention might feel as if the mainstream world is finally discovering their secret pop crush. Thankfully, just as with Crying in H Mart, Jubilee is an album that showcases Zauner's talents to their fullest and makes crushing on Japanese Breakfast hard to resist.

Be Sweet
Kokomo, IN
Slide Tackle
Posing In Bondage
Savage Good Boy
In Hell
Posing For Cars