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Mic Drop: W Records Announces Japanese Breakfast, Final Artist in the Program’s Inaugural Class

April 30, 2019 Dining No Comments Email Email


W Hotels Worldwide today announced Japanese Breakfast as the final artist in the inaugural class of W Records. Japanese Breakfast (Michelle Zauner, a Dead Oceans recording artist), joins fellow W Records performers Amber Mark, Perfume Genius and Roosevelt with two songs on the iconic hotels’ label.

The first of the two singles, “Essentially,” drops today and was recorded in the W Sound Suite at W Bali. It marks the first time a completely original track has been created for W Records. “Essentially” also marks the first original song Japanese Breakfast has released since her 2017 album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet. Fans can see Japanese Breakfast perform “Essentially” at W Taipei on May 25th. The music video for “Essentially” was partially filmed at W Philadelphia, slated to open in 2020.

“I was originally going to record a different song but decided to write something on the fly once I arrived in Bali,” said Zauner. “I like the challenge of writing and arranging quickly and intuitively sometimes, and I had just bought a native instruments maschine and wanted to explore a lot of the sample libraries it came with and work on the synths that were at the studio. It was a very idyllic place to work,” Zauner said of the W Sound Suite at W Bali. “I usually record in cold studios, so Bali was a pretty glamorous change. I felt so lucky the day I arrived just walking around the hotel.”

W Records will be reaching beyond music to support a cause that’s important to both W Hotels and the artist. All W Hotels proceeds from the streaming of both Japanese Breakfast tracks will go to a charity of her choosing, which will be announced soon.

With the release of her sophomore album Soft Sounds From Another Planet, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner expanded the breadth of the shimmering bedroom pop displayed on her debut Psychopomp. Her voice and vision came clearer into focus as she used the extended metaphor of outer space to observe the pain that defined the first part of her career. Full of gleaming guitars and haunting electronics, “Soft Sounds” earned critical acclaim and new fans around the world, quickly making Japanese Breakfast a household name among the indie rock contingent.

“Working with Japanese Breakfast on this song has really illustrated the goal of our music program – supporting an incredible musician from concept to final product, from recording at W Bali to getting this stunning track out into the world today,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “W Records was conceived to inspire musicians to do what they do best – get creative. It’s been amazing to see Japanese Breakfast write, record, produce and explore with us at W. It was (and continues to be) an inspiring journey with her and each of our W Records artists. We’re ready for the world to hear what we’ve been working on.”

Much of 2018 saw Zauner on the road, further honing her live show and performing for massive audiences. All the while, she kept busy—not only as Japanese Breakfast, but as Michelle Zauner: video game composer, prolific music video director, and author. Fans eager for new music from Zauner were pleasantly surprised in summer 2018, when she revealed “Glider” in the E3 announcement trailer for the breathtaking new adventure video game Sable. Drawing from her years of songwriting experience while making new explorations into creating ambient and experimental music, she composed the entire soundtrack for the highly-anticipated indie game, which is due out early 2020. Zauner is also well underway making a name for herself as a sought-after director, working with longtime collaborator Adam Kolodny to craft music videos for other artists such as Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, Jay Som and Charly Bliss.  Between tours, studio sessions, and video shoots, Zauner has long been working on a memoir of her early childhood, time spent between the U.S. and South Korea, and the split heritage that has shaped so much of her life. An excerpt from that book, “Crying in H-Mart,” was published in The New Yorker at the end of 2018. The full book, also titled Crying in H-Mart, will be released via Knopf. With this track release, Zauner adds yet another exciting update to her ever-growing resume of creative projects as the last W Records artist to join the label in its debut year.

Listen to these W Records Releases:

Amber Mark – “High On Your Love

Amber Mark – “Can You Hear Me (ReWork)

Perfume Genius – “Alan (Rework)

Perfume Genius – “Not For Me

Roosevelt – “Falling Back

Roosevelt – “Everywhere



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