Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner stopped by Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 show earlier this week to discuss the making of her latest album Jubilee. Zauner also touched on her recently released book Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, how she was finally able to overcome the loss of her mother, and how the new album will be a celebratory affair.
“I think because my first two records were so rooted in grief and loss and losing my mum, and then I wrote an entire book about that experience, I felt really ready to start a new chapter of my life and fling myself to the other end of the spectrum and write about this whole other part of the human experience, which is joy,” Zauner explains. “I also thought it was a real challenge for a sad indie girl to take on joy as a theme. And so Jubilee to me is about a year of release, a trumpet blast of victory. And so I wanted to write a record about embracing feelings.”
“I think it would be misleading to say that all 10 of the tracks are happy songs,” she continues. “I think that they’re broadly about joy in the sense that it’s about fighting for joy or struggling to feel joy, preserving joy for yourself, or in the case of ‘Savage Good Boy’, it’s about when maybe your own protection of your own joy goes too far. So yeah, I feel like it was such a broad theme that it was actually such a fun thing to work on.”
Speaking of ‘Savage Good Boy’, Japanese Breakfast just dropped that single as the latest preview of Jubilee, coming as the third cut released after ‘Posing in Bondage’ and ‘Be Sweet’. The video retains both the strange power dynamics/highly erotic overtones and the shoulder-padded leotard of the ‘Posing in Bondage’ video, while the song itself is a buzzy upbeat pop number pop number that nicely contrasts the icy chill of the first two singles. Whatever style she decides to cover, it’s all uniquely Zauner, as it has been through her entire career.
“I think that I’ve been really lucky because I’m a late bloomer in this industry in some ways,” she says, “And I did everything for myself before other people came in. I managed our band before we got a manager for a fairly long time. I booked the band DIY tours across the U.S. I tour managed, I sold merch. I did everything. I wrote press releases and emailed them to blogs. So I had so much experience that I could really appreciate when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore and I could really understand what someone else was bringing in, and appreciate the amount of work that goes into that. So I feel like it was a really important part of my coming up as a musician.”
Check out the video for ‘Savage Good Boy’ down below. Jubilee is set for a June 4th release date.