Thursday, September 28, 2023

Bonnaroo artist focus: Japanese Breakfast


Share post:

Photo courtesy of

With Bonnaroo tickets on sale and the Manchester festival’s June 7-10 dates around the corner, it might be a little daunting trying to decide which of the 100+ artists will give you the most bang for your buck. In this column, we’ll focus on a different artist every week to give you a sense of who they are and who will be worth checking out once summer rolls around.

In 2011, Michelle Zauner formed the indie-rock band, Little Big League, in Philadelphia. They released two albums but went on hiatus after Zauner’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, causing her to move back home to Oregon. Here, she continued to write songs under a new, personal moniker, Japanese Breakfast.

Following her mother’s death, Japanese Breakfast’s first studio effort “Psychopomp” provided a collection of tracks that confronted often dismal subjects as a way to seek closure in the aftermath. The instrumentals, however, offered blissful, trance-like soundscapes with Michelle Zauner’s smooth, caressing voice pairing elegantly with distant waves of guitar.

On last year’s project, “Soft Sounds from Another Planet,” Zauner dives deeper into her atmospheric surroundings, loosely structuring the album as a space-age romance story. Singles like “Machinist” employ robotic drum-pad rhythms and tastefully auto-tuned vocals, with the album’s hit single “Road Head” focusing more on Zauner’s human feelings, with ardent, reverb-laden expressions.

Zauner’s appearance at Bonnaroo will certainly provide a mellow, ambient soundtrack to the festival’s events, and in effect, will offer a beautiful indie-pop performance by one of the genre’s most admirable personas.

Watch Japanese Breakfast’s video for “The Body Is A Blade” below.

Tickets and information can be found on the Bonnaroo website.

To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

Related articles

Phoebe Bridgers closes the spring semester with concert

Featured Photo by Jordan Reining Story by Jordan Reining After a weekend at Coachella, Phoebe Bridgers and her openers performed...

Olivia O’Brien headlines second annual Girlboss Gala

Featured Photo by Kaleigh Young Story by Kaleigh Young Los Angeles based pop singer Olivia O'Brien and Middle Tennessee State...

MTSU Grammy nominees and winners

Featured Photo Courtesy of CBS Story by Stephanie Hall The 65th Annual Grammy Awards occurred on Sunday, February 6th, 2023....

RIM Students tour historic United Recordings studio

Featured Photo by Stephanie Hall Story by Stephanie Hall While Middle Tennessee State University RIM students are out in Los...