Japanese Breakfast shares "Machinist" video, announces 'Soft Sounds From Another Planet' out 7/14 on Dead Oceans




Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Today, Japanese Breakfast has shared a music video for "Machinist," the lead single from her new album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, available for pre-order now and due out July 14th on Dead Oceans. 

The follow up to Japanese Breakfast's critically acclaimed debut is a work of self-reflection that looks out at the cosmos in search of healing, finding inspiration in science fiction, outer space, and the Mars One Project. This influence is most apparent in the video for "Machinist," Michelle Zauner's fourth music video collaboration with House of Nod's Adam Kolodny.

Video director, Zauner says "the song is a sci-fi narrative about a woman who falls in love with a robot. In the video she hallucinates on rocket fuel and tears apart her spaceship in an attempt to build a body for her robot lover," while director of photography, Adam Kolodny, says they "were inspired by 2001A Space OdysseyAlien2046, and The Fifth Element."

Japanese Breakfast is currently on tour with Slowdive and has upcoming dates with Tegan and Sara, (Sandy) Alex G and Cende. All dates below.


5/5 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall ~
5/6 - Montreal, QC @ Olympia Theatre ~
5/7 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ~ 
5/8 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
5/9 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
6/2 - Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
6/3 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
6/4 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle (Back Room) *
6/6 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) *
6/7 - Orlando, FL @ The Social *
6/9 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall *
6/10 - Austin, TX @ The Parish *
6/11 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/13 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
6/15 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex *
6/16 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic *
6/17 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room *
6/18 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
6/20 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
6/21 - Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
6/22 - Portland, OR @ Holocene *
6/24 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
6/25 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
6/27 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
6/28 - Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
6/29 - Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness *
6/30 - Lakewood, OH @ Mahall's *
7/1 - Detroit, MI @ El Club *
7/2 - Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground *
7/4 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
7/5 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
7/6 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
7/7 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
7/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
7/27 - Halifax, NS @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium ^
7/28 - Portland, ME @ State Theatre ^
7/29 - Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom ^
7/31 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues ^
8/2 - Covington, KY @ Madison Theater ^

~ w/ Slowdive
* w/ (Sandy) Alex G & Cende
^ w/ Tegan & Sara

"The title Soft Sounds From Another Planet alludes to the promise of something that may or may not be there. Like a hope in something more. The songs are about human resilience and the strength it takes to claw out of the darkest of spaces."
Michelle Zauner wrote the debut Japanese Breakfast album in the weeks after her mother died of cancer, thinking she would quit music entirely once it was done. That wasn't the case. WhenPsychopomp was released to acclaim in 2016, she was forced to confront her grief. Zauner would find find herself reliving traumatic memories multiple times a day during interviews, trying to remain composed while discussing the most painful experience of her life. Her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, is a transmutation of mourning, a reflection that turns back on the cosmos in search of healing.
"I want to be a woman of regimen," Zauner sings over a burbling synth on the album's opening track "Diving Woman." This serves as Zauner's mission statement: stick to the routine lest you get derailed, don't cling to the past, don't descend. In fact, ascend to the stars; Zauner found artistic solace removed from Earth, in outer space and science fiction. "I used the theme as a means to disassociate from trauma," she explains. "Space used as a place of fantasy."
And yet, Soft Sounds From Another Planet isn't a concept album. Over the course of 12 tracks, Zauner explores an expansive thematic universe, a cohesive outpouring of unlike parts structured to create a galaxy of her own design. In the instrumental "Planetary Ambience," synths communicate the way extraterrestrials might, and on the shapeshifting single "Machinist,"  which Zauner has been performing live for over a year now, she details the sci-fi narrative of a woman falling in love with a machine. "It's pure fiction," she explains, "But it can map onto real relationships in a relevant way." The track, which begins with spoken-word ambience, moves into autotune '80s pop bliss and ends with a sultry saxophone solo, perfectly marries the experience: there's a perceptible humanity in mechanical, bodily events.
Within its astral production, much of Soft Sounds From Another Planet stays grounded. "Road Head" is the last chest compression in attempt to resuscitate a doomed relationship, while the penultimate track "This House" is an acoustic dirge that honors Zauner's chosen family. The baroque pop "Boyish" has a haunting, crystalline clarity that recalls the pathos of a Roy Orbison ballad, while "Body is a Blade" embraces the dark intimacy of Zauner's Pacific Northwest heroes Elliott Smith and Mount Eerie.
With help from co-producer Craig Hendrix (who also co-produced Little Big League's debut) and Jorge Elbrecht, (Ariel Pink, Tamaryn) who mixed the album, Zauner recontextualizes her bedroom pop beginnings, expanding and maturing her sound. The sheer massiveness of the big room production onSoft Sounds From Another Planet introduces listeners to a new Japanese Breakfast. Zauner's familiar, capacious voice will serve as their guide.
"Your body is a blade that moves while your brain is writhing," she sings. "Knuckled under pain you mourn but your blood is flowing." There's discernible pain in the phrasing, Zauner recognizing limitation, a lack of control, but then subverting the feeling, creating her own musical language for confronting trauma. Where Psychopomp introduced the world to Japanese Breakfast, Soft Soundsdives deeper. It builds space where there is none, and suggests that in the face of tragedy, we find ways to keep on living. 

JULY 14, 2017
1. Diving Woman
2. Road Head
4. Planetary Ambience
5. Soft Sounds From Another Planet
6. Boyish
7. 12 Steps
8. Jimmy Fallon Big
9. Body Is A Blade
10. Till Death
11. This House
12. Here Come The Tubular Bells