Despite living three blocks away, Japanese Breakfast‘s Michelle Zauner and Crying’s Ryan Galloway haven’t seen each other since the beginning of quarantine. Even still, the two got together digitally and formed a new quarantine-bred side project, Bumper. On Thursday, Bumper shared their debut EP Pop Songs 2020, which features shimmering melodies and funk-forward production.
In an interview with Rolling Stone about the release, Zauner said she originally reached out to Galloway to lend a hand on Japanese Breakfast’s upcoming album but instead formed the side project Bumper:
“I’ve always really liked Crying and I think Ryan as a talent is so underrated. I knew that he was such a guitar wizard and his influences are super bizarre, in my world anyway. And I really appreciate that. For this new [Japanese Breakfast] record, I just wanted to work with people that really inspired me creatively. We worked together and made something that was totally out of the realm of what I would usually make. I realized that Ryan had this wealth of material that he was just sitting on.”
Adding to Zauner’s statement, Galloway explained how their collaboration process worked:
“Basically, her songs were made and were not obnoxious, and then I just added that element to it. I also think personality-wise, both of us are very loud. When Michelle came over and we figured out what I can add to the Japanese Breakfast song, both of us were at full volume the whole time. It also carries over throughout this project. There’s a specific part in a song where I added a timpani part, and Michelle was like, ‘Sounds like a dumpster falling over. It’s awful.’ I think it’s fun to accept that way of criticism, and bounce back and forth and be allowed to say, ‘Hey, that sucks.’ Because typically, I think that’s how more hardcore musicians tend to communicate. But for indie rock, it’s not usually like that.”
Listen to Bumper’s Pop Songs 2020 above and find the EP cover art and tracklist below.
1. “You Can Get It”
2. “Black Light”
3. “Red Brick”
4. “Ballad 0”