Stream Japanese Breakfast Psychopomp

Seeing Japanese Breakfast play live last week during our unofficial SXSW show solidified in my mind how special these songs and this band are. They fill a room with a crackling energy, an all-encompassing warmth and glow. The best art is created out of loss and insecurity, not in a way that glorifies either but in a way that makes it possible to progress beyond both those points, using the music as a stepping stone. Psychopomp is exemplary, finding joy in sadness and despair in the brightest of lights. Early singles “In Heaven,” “Everybody Wants To Love You,” and “The Woman That Loves You” captured the magic of the album well enough, but it’s best to let the whole thing wash over you like a cleansing wave. Most of these tracks have been repurposed from Michelle Zauner’s two previous solo bedroom releases — American Sound and Where Is My Great Big Feeling? — and the updated versions keep the hard-won intimacy, but are only more impactful in their fleshed-out final forms. It’s an immaculately crafted debut, and you should listen via Hype Machine below.

Psychopomp is out 4/1 via Yellow K Records. Pre-order it here.