Boyish | Japanese Breakfast


Andrew Younker

Cover photo by Phobymo

Last April, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner released Psychopomp, one of the best albums of the year. Dealing with incredible loss, Zauner created a short and beautiful collection of songs reflecting her heartbreak and life after the death of her mother. All eyes are on her as she rolls out her next album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet.

“Boyish” begins with a timeless drum beat, one from the Ronettes’ classic, “Be My Baby,” and one that has been replicated many times since. Zauner’s voice is unique and mystifying over the sedated guitar. Her vocals have a youthful glow and breathless delivery; they’re dream-pop style but with markedly less reverb and delay. The chorus is one of the most gorgeous moments in her discography. Harmonies and orchestra intertwine as she croons “I can’t get you off my mind, I can’t get you off in general.” It’s majestic while staying grounded and real, the vocals again being a highlight. The song is capped off by an island guitar solo that mirrors the hook vocals exactly- quite the classy move. From demo track to Smithsonian wonder, “Boyish” is a sappy, melancholic and beautiful song.

With “Machinist” being so much different than the new cut, Soft Sounds From Another Planet could go in any direction from here. It comes out July 14th on Dead Oceans.