- 04 Jun 21
Michelle Zauner's fascinating third LP under her Japanese Breakfast moniker, 'Jubilee', arrives today via Dead Ocean Recordings.
Michelle Zauner’s 10-track third album Jubilee, named after the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita in the Jewish faith, signals her first body of work in four years, and a transition from the grief at the centre of her previous two albums into romantic nostalgia. The American indie musician’s Jewish and Korean roots remain an important facet of Japanese Breakfast, often pairing opposing genres and themes to make unique art.
From combining subject matter of death and sex in 2016’s Psychobomb and 2017’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet, to paralleling '80s synth-pop and Oregon indie-rock on Jubilee; Zauner finds a way to envision alternative perspectives.
Jubilee is a bombastic return for the quirky artist, who has drawn comparisons to the likes of Mitski and Frank Ocean for her ability to tie simple details to clever, melancholy metaphors. Japanese Breakfast's third effort is more vibrant and colourful, incorporating synths, saxophone instrumentals and string sections. Having previewed the album with the brilliant ‘Be Sweet’, ‘Posing in Bondage’ and ‘Savage Good Boy’; her trademark falsetto vocals shine on ‘Paprika’ and ‘In Hell’. Ambient guitar genius is present on rock track ‘Sit’, but her lyrical prowess is most biting on ‘Savage Good Boy’ - sardonically wishing to be a man with a five-year-plan, ready to consume women and the planet around him.
The pace of the album decreases as the project progresses, with downtempo tracks later platforming Zauner’s more poignant lyrics recalling memories of her late mother. When the musician confesses her need for affection, intimacy and the emotional yearning she possesses for loved ones, it only serves to create a deeper bond between the indie darling and her steadily growing clan of cool kid fans.
Jubilee may well bring Japanese Breakfast to a brand new audience, despite flying mostly under the radar thus far in her career.
Listen: ‘Savage Good Boy’, ‘In Hell’
Stream Jubilee below: