Bonnaroo Artist | Japanese Breakfast
Bonnaroo History | 2018
Stage & Time | Friday | That Tent | 6:30-7:30pm
Like we’ve been doing for many years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorite acts from Bonnaroo‘s 2022 lineup. And, for the first time in three years, we finally feel confident that there definitely will be a Bonnaroo this year, after a postponement then cancelation in 2020 due to Covid, and an unfortunate rainout of last year’s would-be September event. Returned to its traditional timeframe of June 16-19, this marks Bonnaroo’s 21st summer and 19th installment, and features a largely new lineup for the festival’s much-anticipated return!
As we dig through the entire schedule, we’ll highlight a spread of performers spanning across genres and stages, big and small, new and old, to bring you some of the most interesting, lesser-known, and most highly-recommended among this year’s crop of artists. And as our time at ‘Roo approaches, we’ll also be bringing you some special features and full list-style daily lineup guides, to help you plan your weekend ahead of the fest. While these previews won’t span every artist, and might omit some more obvious must-see acts, we hope they’ll serve as a way to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s gargantuan lineup, and to make the most of your busy weekend on the farm!
Grab your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and read on for our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight!
The experimental pop project of musician, director, and author Michelle Zauner, who cut her teeth performing in the Philadelphia indie and emo scene in groups like Post Post and Little Big League, Japanese Breakfast is a project initially born from grief, which has blossomed into a personal, earnest, and primary outlet of artistic expression for a phenomenal talent over the last decade. After relocating suddenly to her hometown of Eugene, Oregon, after her mom was diagnosed with cancer, Zauner continued to write music to occupy her time. The result, her debut full-length as Japanese Breakfast (a project she’d used more like a side-project prior) Psychopomp, arrived after her mom tragically passed, and within its lo-fi, bedroom pop was a nuanced, poignant navigation of grief, sexuality, and personal transition. For a while, Michelle expected to leave music behind, and to find a more conventional job path that her mom would have approved of. However, the record’s unprecedented success prompted her to keep her creative career going, and with 2017 follow-up Soft Sounds from Another Planet, a record that amassed even wider mainstream recognition and spun off several buzzed-about singles, Japanese Breakfast really matured both musically and in more cosmic, adventurous lyricism, both navigating how grief is processed beyond the immediate aftermath of trauma, and also exploring life in a broader context. In the several years since, Zauner and Japanese Breakfast have become darlings of the indie scene, beloved by critics and amassing a cult following; she and her band have performed at festivals around the globe (including a fantastic 2018 debut at Bonnaroo) and toured with increasingly high-profile artists, she provided the soundtrack for indie game Sable, and even wrote her first book, the critically-lauded memoir Crying in H Mart, which is set to be adapted into a movie. And, of course, last year, Japanese Breakfast released her highly-anticipated and Grammy-nominated third album. Dubbed Jubilee and arguably the project’s best effort to date, the LP comes after years of effort on Zauner’s part to improve her craft as a songwriter, and, for the first time, feels untethered from the shadow of grief that informed the first two records, embracing happiness and pondering themes of life and the human experience, all boosted by some incredible arrangements, dreamy and lush pop hooks, and the best vocal stylings of any Japanese Breakfast album to date. Japanese Breakfast was a highlight at their first Bonnaroo, and they’re returning with a even-more seasoned live show and their best music ever, making this an essential weekend set!
WATCH | “Be Sweet” (Official Music Video)
LISTEN | “Boyish”