Japanese Breakfast Brings ‘Another Planet’ to the Space Ballroom

The indie-pop powerhouse is on a national tour promoting her sophomore album.

Japanese Breakfast played a sold-out show Wednesday night in Hamden, Conn. to promote her 2017 album, “Soft Sounds from Another Planet.” (Photo by Gabriele Esposito-Wilcock)

Lo-fi indie pop act Japanese Breakfast played a sold-out show Wednesday night in Hamden, Conn. to promote her second album, “Soft Sounds from Another Planet,” originally released in 2017.

Michelle Zauner, better known by her stage name Japanese Breakfast, is an indie-pop powerhouse with hypnotic guitar tones, dynamic keyboards, thumping baselines and breathtaking vocals, elements which are all highlighted by Zauner’s captivating stage presence.

All the songs performed leaped gracefully off the record, translating its elements

Into a larger-than-life version onstage with buoyant energy. While Zauner’s lyrics are not explicitly happy, her music is feel-good and uplifting. It felt as if the sunny, warm energy of the band spread the good vibes onto the dancing crowd in front of them.

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Halfway through the concert, Japanese Breakfast slowed the energy down with a few tender quiet songs. The songs contained a different kind of energy with only an acoustic guitar, vocals, and keyboard. The vulnerability of the touching stripped-down tracks preserved the heart and soul of the band, highlighting Zauner’s heartfelt lyricism.

Japanese Breakfast, who performed at NYU’s 2018 Mystery Concert, played a sold-out show Wednesday night in Hamden, Conn. (Photo by Gabriele Esposito-Wilcock)

Between songs, Zauner remarked that “it is hard to be vulnerable in times like these” and appreciated the opportunity to do so with the crowd. The band closed out their string of quiet songs with “Till Death,” telling the crowd, “it was the first real love song I ever wrote” and that you can’t really love someone until you’ve been through a tragedy with them.

The band closed out their set with “Everybody Wants to Love You”, Zauner’s 2016 breakout hit, and a cover of Nada Surf’s “Popular”. After a brief period offstage, the band came out once again to play a cover of the Flaming Lips’ “Race for the Prize” as well as the Japanese Breakfast tune “Machinist”.

All in all, Japanese Breakfast delivered hypnotizing grooves from “Sounds From Another Planet” that were most certainly out of this world.

Email Gabriele Esposito-Wilcock at [email protected].

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