Emotional and Gritty: Japanese Breakfast Tugs at the Heartstrings Check Out Our Photos From Both Her Brooklyn Vegan And Fender Showcases At SXSW
AUSTIN, TX- My second day at SXSW started off in the afternoon at the legendary Mohawk Austin for a Brooklyn Vegan showcase featuring tons of incredible artists. First up was Japanese Breakfast out of Philly. I noticed some buzz surrounding her last year when she came through NYC on tour and sold-out two consecutive nights at Brooklyn Steel, one of the premier new music venues in New York. She was scheduled to play 10 times during the festival so I had no excuse to not catch at least one of her shows.
Born Michelle Zauner out of Oregon, she released her debut record, Psychopump, under the name Japanese Breakfast back in 2016 after the untimely death of her mother. A year later she came back with Soft Sounds From Another Planet and that album really propelled her fame that resulted in a headlining US tour.
As for the performance at Mohawk, Japanese Breakfast showed why she’s become such a popular indie artist. With a soft voice laid over melancholy electric psych-pop sounds, Zauner communicated to the audience her deeply rooted emotions with every song. Whether it’s heartache and despair over her mother’s death in “In Heaven”, or the feeling of hopelessness in “Road Head”, I was able to understand what she had went through. Her lyrics express a grieving, determined, strong, and unabashed woman and I believe that’s what really resonates so much with her fans. They love that she sings about real feelings and thoughts that they’re able to relate to.
What I really enjoyed about Japanese Breakfast’s performance was how the energy in the band and the music progressed through the set. They started with low playing instrumentals through the first couple of songs then proceeded to build their way up to harder alternative rock electric guitar and heavy bass to a point where I felt like rocking out with them on stage. “Everybody Wants to Love You” and “Dreams” really got the crowd moving and dancing on a late afternoon in the heart of Austin, Texas.
It was a really fun set that I enjoyed immensely. So much so that I actually decided to see Japanese Breakfast again a few nights later where they headlined a Fender Showcase at the Lustre Pearl (photo gallery contains photos from both sets). Check out Japanese Breakfast next time she’s on tour, she’ll tug at your heartstrings while simultaneously providing you with a great time.