Stream: Japanese Breakfast creates pure joy on new album ‘Jubilee’

Michelle Zauner's third album sees her opening a new chapter

Japanese Breakfast has returned with her third studio album, Jubilee.

Opening with the absolutely exuberant “Paprika,” which comes packed with Beirut-esque instrumentals, Japanese Breakfast is ready to start a new chapter, and this time it’s all about creating pure joy. While previously release singles “Be Sweet,” “Posing In Bondage,” and “Savage Good Boy” lean in to a sort of deeper groove, this album features a perfect balance of explosive anthems, sentimental ballads, and euphoric hooks.

From prioritizing happiness amidst a toxic relationship with her father on “Tactics” to the the melancholic closer “Posing For Cars,” Jubilee sees Japanese Breakfast exploring new sounds and themes, finding optimism even in the darkest of times. “Kokomo, IN” is truly a standout, with retro instrumentals and dreamy, sway-able melodies as Japanese Breakfast sings of longing, delivering lines like, “If ever you come back/ Wherever you find your way to/ Ans though it may not last/ Just know that I’ll be here always.”

Stream Jubilee below.
 

 
While there are moments of darkness on Jubilee, like when Japanese Breakfast sings of putting down a family pet on “In Hell,” Michelle Zauner juxtaposes it with a sense of sweetness in her melodies and vocal lines.

“After spending the last five years writing about grief, I wanted our follow up to be about joy,” Zauner explains. “For me, a third record should feel bombastic and so I wanted to pull out all the stops for this one. I wrote ‘Be Sweet’ with Jack Tatum from Wild Nothing a few years ago. I’ve been holding onto it for so long and am so excited to finally put it out there.”

“I’ve never wanted to rest on any laurels,” Zauner adds of the follow-up to 2017’s Soft Sounds From Another Planet. “I wanted to push it as far as it could go, inviting more people in and pushing myself as a composer, a producer, an arranger.”