It’s been a busy year for Michelle Zauner, as she’s dropped two Japanese Breakfast album: Jubilee and her soundtrack for the video game Sable, the latter of which just came out a few days ago. Now she’s offered a different spin on Sable highlight “Better The Mask” by sharing an in-studio performance video of it, featuring her on piano accompanied by some strings.
Zauner says of the track, “I wrote ‘Better the Mask’ during lockdown. To pass the time, I found myself turning to the piano, practicing intently for the first time in years, and putting together what would become my favorite song I’ve ever written. ‘Better The Mask’ also features the first string arrangement I devised solely on my own.”
She previously told Uproxx about how she approached the soundtrack, saying, “It’s a coming-of-age story, so my influences were super different for it. I was thinking a lot about Alan Menken and how he crafts this universal feeling and a song that everyone can relate to. That was actually a really lovely experience for me and took me to a very different place in my songwriting, because I feel like so much of what I do for Japanese Breakfast is rooted in specific detail. I was doing these broad strokes of human feeling, like, what’s it like to feel uncertain about the future? Or coming of age, or discovering what path do you want to pursue? Instead of filling it with all these kind of little details, you have to sort of do these broad strokes but also make it compelling. So that was really fun for me.”
Watch Zauner perform “Better The Mask” above.
Sable is out now via Sony Music Masterworks. Get it here.