Zauner performing live in 2017
|Birth name||Michelle Zauner|
|Origin||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Eugene, Oregon|
The band's name, according to Zauner, is a juxtaposition of Asian exoticism and American culture. Zauner, a Korean-American, chose the name because she "grew up relating to Japanese culture quite a bit because it felt like the closest thing [she] had" to Korean popular culture in America.
Before her solo project, Michelle Zauner fronted a solo project under the moniker Little Girl, Big Spoon. As a student at Bryn Mawr College, Zauner fronted Post Post, an indie pop band with other students from Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Later, she started the Philadelphian emo band Little Big League. Zauner fronted the band between 2011 and 2014, before returning to her hometown of Eugene, Oregon in 2013 as her mother was diagnosed with cancer.
While in Oregon with her family, Zauner began recording solo music. She described the project as having much more to say after Tropical Jinx, the 2014 studio album by Little Big League. Originally Zauner began to record samples of music as a meditative exercise and "instant gratification".
On April 1, 2016, Japanese Breakfast released its first studio album, Psychopomp, under Yellow K Records. Zauner described the debut album as "dark and heavy-handed", although she had a desire to make the music urgent and "sonically upbeat."
On June 23, 2016, Japanese Breakfast was signed to the Dead Oceans label. Its second album, Soft Sounds from Another Planet, was released on July 14, 2017, to "universal acclaim", with a Metacritic score of 83. In Brian Shultz's review for The A.V. Club he gave it an A- grade and said, "there’s a confidence and crispness to Soft Sounds that shows just how fully realized Zauner’s formerly homemade experiments have become."
Zauner has said she hopes her work can influence more Asian-Americans to be involved in music.
- June (2013)
Singles and Extended Plays
- Essentially (2019)
- Head Over Heels (cover, 2019)
- Maybes (on Too Real by Giraffage, 2017)
- Polyvinyl 4-Track Singles Series, Vol. 3 (two songs, 2042 and Posing in Bondage, 2017)
Live Albums and Singles
- Japanese Breakfast on Audiotree Live (live, 2016)
- Dreams - Recorded at Spotify Studios NYC (live cover, 2018)
- Song, Sandra. "Japanese Breakfast on Grief, Imposter Syndrome, and Korean Representation". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
- "DIY Music". Atavist. 2016-05-13. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
- Teo-Blockey, Celine (September 15, 2016). "Interview: Japanese Breakfast's Michelle Zauner on death and 'Psychopomp'". AXS TV. 2929 Entertainment. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
- Hannah, Andy (October 18, 2016). "In the Rugged Country: Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast tells Andy Hannah about the loss which brought her back to the Pacific Northwest". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- Gardin, Russell. "Pop Music Has A Sense of Urgency: An Interview With Japanese Breakfast". FreePressHouston.com. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
- Gaca, Anna (June 23, 2016). "Japanese Breakfast Shares 'Jane Cum' Video, Signs to Dead Oceans". Spin. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Soft Sounds From Another Planet by Japanese Breakfast, retrieved 2018-04-07
- Shultz, Brian. "Japanese Breakfast, The Dears, Sheer Mag, and more in this week's music reviews". Music. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
- Geslani, Michelle (May 4, 2017). "Japanese Breakfast announces new album, shares "Machinist" video — watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Japanese Breakfast at Bandcamp