Japanese Breakfast has been Michelle Zauner’s space to give songs another go, frequently with incredible results. She turned many of her lo-fi releases into achingly lush and layered walls of sound on last year’s Psychopomp. And it looks like she’s back in the revision game for her upcoming album Soft Sounds From Another Planet. Her latest do-over “Boyish” is no less fruitful than the ones found on Psychopomp. She turned the former demo into a beautiful and sweeping ballad that brings to mind the production whizzes of the girl group-era of pop or the famed “Nashville sound.”
According to Zauner, what we’re hearing is no mistake.
“Craig Hendrix and I wanted to produce this sort of grandiose Roy Orbison-esque ballad,” she said of the song in a press release. “We wanted the chorus to have big arrangements, lots of harmonies and synth strings, to create a really sweeping, melancholic effect that mirrored the nature of the lyrics. The song is about jealousy and sexual incompetence. It’s about feeling ugly.”
Where the arrangements are big and comfy, Zauner’s lyrics are dry and cutting. “I can’t get you off my mind, I can’t get you off in general,” she sings. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair of lines this year. Give it a listen up top.
Soft Sounds From Another Planet is out July 14 on Dead Oceans.