Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner released a single last year through Polyvinyl’s 4-Track Singles Series, for which 12 artists each recorded two new songs using the same Tascam 4-track recorder. Previously, those songs were only available on vinyl, but today they’ve made their way online.
As you’d expect given the self-imposed restriction on the recording method, “2042” and “Posing In Bondage” present a more lo-fi Japanese Breakfast than we’re used to. Although her 2016 debut Psychopomp was not nearly as polished as 2017’s Soft Sounds From Another Planet, these are more like demo quality, or something that would qualify as a moment of clarity on a classic-era Guided By Voices album.
It’s almost as fun to hear Zauner transporting her songwriting to this context as it was to hear her jump into all manner of high-gloss experiments on Soft Sounds. She’s always had some ’90s in her sound, but in this case we get to imagine her as a purebred alternative rocker. She seems like one of those musicians who’ll be changing guises a lot over the course of her career, and I’m glad we get to hear her in this one.
Listen to “2042” and “Posing In Bondage” below.