Recommend if you like Beach House, Real Estate, Girls

Expectation: Japanese Breakfast is the solo project of Michelle Zauner of indie rock band Little Big League. Her music encompasses a bridge between shoegaze and indie pop.


  • Diving Woman– A captivating opener that introduces the general sound of the album. This song dragged a little bit toward the end, but it was overall a very cool song.
  • Road Head – The reverbed guitar melodies and pronounced bass line combined with the electronic production in this song make a very pleasing combination. This song improves on the opener by being much more dynamic while staying comfortable for the listener.
  • Machinist – On its own, this song is pretty good; however, it feels extremely out of place in this album. Although a pleasing dance track, packed with saxophone solos, vocoders, and an 80’s synth vibe, this song clashes with the overall mood.
  • Planetary Ambience – A nice, sweet, atmospheric interlude that bridges my least favorite song on the album with my favorite one.
  • Soft Sounds from Another Planet – The title-track and by far my favorite song on the album; the reverberating guitars and tasteful production make this atmospheric beach ballad an absolute treat.
  • Boyish – This song is similar to the previous track, but replaces the guitars with strings and layered vocals that make for a much larger-sounding song that, at the same time, still feels very personal.
  • 12 Steps – The guitar riffs absolutely make this song. Much more of a “rock” song than most of the others, since it is significantly louder, faster, and more cheerful.
  • Jimmy Fallon Big! – I don’t really understand the name of this song, but I don’t care. This song, with a delicious blend of rhythm guitar and reverbed synths, makes me feel like I’m floating through space and ends before I can realize that I’m not.
  • The Body Is a Blade – This song is very reminiscent of the opening track, but is much more laid back. With arpeggiating synth and early-Coldplay vibes, this song is nice, but doesn’t really go anywhere.
  • Till Death – This song sounds like it should be in a movie. The song slowly builds from a Rhodes keyboard ballad into a baroque pop piece that delivers on every level.
  • This House – I’ll admit, I’ve gotten very tired of albums having acoustic closers. But this song expands on the cliché by combining the guitar with piano and creating a very emotion conclusion that ties the album up nicely.
  • Here Come the Tubular Bells – I consider this to be an extension of This House, since it’s just the sound of bells ringing, but it can almost stand on its own, since it somehow finds a way to make the ringing of bells sound sad.

Overall: This album was really a treat to listen to. The blend of reverbed guitars, lo-fi, and synthesizers used by Zauner is executed brilliantly, and it is very easy to “get lost” while listening to it. The album title is a perfect description of the atmosphere of the record, and the title-track is one of my favorite songs to come out this year. My only real complaint about this album is the song “Machinist”, which feels a little out of place. Besides that, this album is astounding and definitely worth the listen.

Score: 7.5/10