It’s starting to seem like there’s nothing Michelle Zauner can’t do. The Japanese Breakfast leader and Crying In H Mart author released her brand new album Jubilee earlier this year, along with the aforementioned memoir. Currently on tour behind the record, all that hasn’t stopped her from getting back in the studio already to put together some live recordings and a special cover for fans. Accompanied by the the Quartet 121 string section for her contribution to Spotify’s Live At Electric Lady series, Zauner recorded new live versions of “Be Sweet,” “Savage Good Boy,” “Tactics,” and “Kokomo, IN.”
It might be the cover of Weezer’s classic Blue Album sleeper hit “Say It Ain’t So” that stands out the most here, though. The Japanese Breakfast version of the iconic indie tune is very different from the original, as Zauner takes creative license with a breathy vocal, and the tension of all the stringed accompaniments in the orchestra section build a whole new layer into the song.
“I played a very sloppy basement cover of ‘Say It Ain’t So’ once with my band in college, so it was fun to revisit it from the opposite angle, stripped down with a string quartet,” Zauner said of the track. “Craig Hendrix did the arrangement and Quartet 121 performed the hell out of it.”