Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp (Released 19th August)

£17.99 – Limited indies Opaque Violet LP

Michelle zauner is the guitarist and singer for the underrated philadelphia indie rock band little big league – after her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she returned home to oregon; while she was there, she revamped songs from her previous lo-fi releases under the name japanese breakfast.

halfway through little big league’s “year of the sunhouse,” some dope asks michelle zauner whether she’s still “playing basement shows with the band—doing the music thing?” she roars back, “well yes i fuckin’ a-a-am!” her pride was justified. the underrated philadelphia four-piece were among the best of their kind, playing knotty, effervescent indie rock that confronted darker themes like sexual violence and infidelity. shortly before that single’s release in late 2014, zauner’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. the frontwoman/guitarist stopped playing basement shows with the band, and moved back to small-town oregon to be with her mom, and later comfort her widowed father. psychopomp came together that year in rural eugene, where zauner revamped songs from her previous lo-fi releases under the name japanese breakfast. in collaboration with musician ned eisenberg, she pushed them beyond their original scrappy basement confines into shimmering gems.

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