Judging by the title, Soft Sounds from Another Planet, the latest by Philadelphia psych-pop outfit Japanese Breakfast, sounds like it could be a ’70s prog record of epic proportions. That’s actually what Michelle Zauner, the band’s sole member, had in mind — kind of. According to an interview Zauner did with Stereogum, her idea for the album was to create a “science fiction musical,” but it ended up being more about experiences and relationships on Earth and dealing with feelings of detachment. Zauner occasionally inserts references to machines and the cosmos, and there’s an overall bigger, spacey production for this album compared to her prior record. But the music she creates is personal and intimate and explores herself much more than she does life on Mars, Earth, or otherwise. Musically, she ties together epic synth-pop anthems, sappy ballads, and a general experimental vibe that’s incredibly fun.
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