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Japanese Breakfast performs at Bishop



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Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast performs Thursday night at the Bishop Bar. Zauner, who also performs with Little Big League, released her second album as Japanese Breakfast, "Soft Sounds from Another Planet," on July 14.  Victor Gan Buy Photos

Michelle Zauner, the creator of the indie-rock band Japanese Breakfast, headlined a sold-out show at the Bishop Bar on Friday. Her newest album under the Japanese Breakfast name “Soft Sounds From Another Planet” was released July 14.

Pitchfork Magazine described “Soft Sounds” as being “inspired by the cosmos.” The album evokes feelings of “Pacific Northwest indie rock as much as shoegaze.” 

Pitchfork Magazine wrote that Zauner began this album as a “science fiction musical” although that wasn’t necessarily the case with the finished product.

“There’s something very real about Japanese Breakfast that is lacking in other artists and that's why she sold out her show in the third-tier market," a promoter for Japanese Breakfast Dan Coleman said. 

The third-tier market being Bloomington’s very own Bishop Bar, where Japanese Breakfast was introduced by two opening acts, the Spirit of the Beehive and Mannequin Pussy. 

Ben Wittkugel, a Spirit of '68 promoter at the Bishop, said, “This is Japanese Breakfast’s first time in town, she has a great new record out and she’s really excited for the show.”

“Soft Sounds From Another Planet” includes 12 tracks. According to the Japanese Breakfast Bandcamp webpage, the album “explores a sonic landscape” with songs that are reminiscent of Roy Orbison’s ballads and cinematic works like “Blade Runner.”

“Its kind of melancholic, sort of poppy, it always sounds like its coming from nature, especially her newest album, it reminds me of ocean waves,” IU sophomore and concert attendee Yeeseon Chae said.

The release of “Soft Sounds From Another Planet” is, as Breakfast Bandcamp's webpage said, “less of a concept album about space exploration so much as it is a mood board come to life.”

Morgan Farrell, an IU junior who attended the concert, said she had known of Japanese Breakfast long before they came to Bloomington Thursday night. Farrell also said that she identifies with the wide array of emotions the band explores in its music.

“I started listening to Japanese Breakfast freshman year and I remember that spring semester, very sentimental memories of walking to my 9 a.m. and listening to Japanese Breakfast," Farrell said. "You can tell that there is a lot of sadness in her music but also it's optimism for life in general and that’s really comforting to hear someone who is going through that and feeling that.”​

The band is scheduled to continue touring with multiple other shows in the United States. Japanese Breakfast will also be performing on an international level, visiting other countries like Canada, France and China. 

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