With the release of her debut novel, “Crying in H Mart”, 2021 seemed to already be a banner year for Michelle Zauner. Earlier in the year, Zauner had announced a new album under her musical moniker, Japanese Breakfast. From the release of the lead single “Be Sweet”, it was clear that Zauner would be taking on an entirely different sound from her previous work. In an interview with Alternative Press, Zauner explained that after two albums encompassing grief and depression, she was ready to make something energetic and entirely unique from the rest of her discography.
“This giant gaping wound that was grief and trauma—it feels like it’s healed over a little bit. It still lives with me, and it always will, but I feel ready to tackle a new subject and another part of my life,” Zauner said. “I finally just felt ready, after two albums and a big ol’ book about grief, to tackle something else…” Zauner was indeed successful in creating an album that showcases an entirely new side of her artistry. With 10 uniquely dynamic tracks, Zauner has credited a slew of influences, from Kate Bush to Wilco to the Beach Boys. While “Be Sweet” acts as an upbeat and sprightly track about hoping for reconciliation in a relationship, “Kokomo, In” details dreams of escapism.