LIVERPOOL MUSIC WEEK: Japanese Breakfast @ EBGBS
A day later on the 31st October, and I was back at EBGBS for another amazing set by none other than Japanese Breakfast, the solo music project of Michelle Zauner, formerly of Little Big League.
I only got to see two of the supports on offer at the night, the first being Mary Miller, one of Liverpool’s own musical gems, who performed her set with her guitar and a drum sampler, creating ethereal and ambient sounds which captured the crowd’s imagination. Unfortunately, not much of her music is available online, but she is a must to go and see live and here’s to hoping she releases music in the future!
St Jude the Obscure were next, formally Liverpool band Bird and then Feral Love, who brought their brand of electronic pop to the stage, performing songs such as Ruins, Wreckage and Ruins of Youth, which surrounded Adele Emma’s ethereal vocals. It could be said that the band do love miserable sounding music, but there is a certain uplifting quality to this that made their set all the more inspiring.
Finally, Japanese Breakfast were due to come on, and Michelle Zauner graced the stage with energy that didn’t dissipate and led her to use her body as well as her voice, dancing ferociously as well as jumping on the drum kit with her light up shoes. Throughout the set, she entertained the audience, likening someone’s cheers to that of a baby goat and therefore led us into her world with her music and sense of humour.
First on the set list was Diving Women which in itself is a very chilled out song, Michelle herself referencing this song as being about her contradictions between touring and being with her family, this song unique in the fact that it is one of her longer songs and is at the beginning of her 2017 album Soft Sounds from Another Planet, as if to inspire the idea of her songs being thoughtful and meandering.
Next was In Heaven, the first song on her first album Psychopomp, which focused on the impact of a loved one dying, the song referencing the way that even a dog can help its owner to learn about loss. The Woman That Loves You was next, another song dripping in emotion and showing the impacts of a toxic relationship.
Road Head really captured the crowd at EBGBS, it being my favourite song too, referencing hooking up in cars, awful romances and the desire of love. Heft itself is much more about recollections, talking about her late mother which the album Psychopomp directly refers to, and about spending time by her hospital bed.
Boyish is a much slower song, which is an acceptance of the reality of loving someone, Jane Cum described as a dark meditation on lost love. This House, Triple 7 and Till Death all slow songs showing off Michelle’s powerful vocal capacity.
Michelle then ended the set with 12 Steps, Everybody Wants To Love You, a song which Zauner referenced in a tweet as about a women she loved who didn’t even know it, and finally Machinist, Michelle herself starting off the song by saying “this is a song about falling in love with a robot,” with a wonderful spoken word section at the start.
All in all, Japanese Breakfast’s set was a journey through the weird and wacky, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet her at the end!