Photo by Ebru Yildiz

When I interviewed Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast for Brooklyn Magazine last summer, her dream-pop debut Psychopomp was creating quite the buzz. On a sold-out tour with Mitski and Jay Som, Zauner told me that her next album would have more of an electronic pop feel but still have some of those foreboding, Twin Peaksy Northwest vibes, and this week she delivered on that promise with a video for “Machinist,” the first single from Soft Sounds From Another Planet, which will be released via Dead Oceans on July 14.

Taking cues from its electronic sonic elements – like Zauner’s auto-tuned vocal – the video tells the futuristic tale of woman falling in love with a robot reminiscent of Hal from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s the fourth video Zauner has created with House of Nod’s Adam Kolodny (along with “Everybody Wants to Love You,” “Jane Cum” and “In Heaven“). The band has been incredibly busy touring (currently with Slowdive, who play two nights at Brooklyn Steel beginning Monday), peppering their sets with a few new songs (and a brilliant cover of the Cranberries’ “Dreams”), but “Machinist” ups the ante with propulsive synth burble that builds to a scorching sax solo.

Though Japanese Breakfast started out as a very personal lo-fi acoustic bedroom recording project, the little flourishes on “Machinist” – a robotic backing vocal, subtle handclaps – make the song unrelentingly infectious and show how far Zauner has come as a producer. Her character in the video may end up tangled in wires, but as far as her musical endeavors go, Zauner isn’t raging against the machine – she’s embracing it. And we’re betting Soft Sounds From Another Planet will be out of this world.

Watch the video for “Machinist” and check out Japanese Breakfast on tour this summer (dates below).

TOUR DATES:
5/5 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall ~
5/6 – Montreal, QC @ Olympia Theatre ~
5/7 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ~
5/8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
5/9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
6/2 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
6/3 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
6/4 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (Back Room) *
6/6 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) *
6/7 – Orlando, FL @ The Social *
6/9 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall *
6/10 – Austin, TX @ The Parish *
6/11 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/13 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
6/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex *
6/16 – San Diego, CA @ The Irenic *
6/17 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room *
6/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
6/20 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
6/21 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
6/22 – Portland, OR @ Holocene *
6/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
6/25 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
6/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
6/28 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
6/29 – Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness *
6/30 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s *
7/1 – Detroit, MI @ El Club *
7/2 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground *
7/4 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
7/5 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
7/6 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
7/7 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
7/8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
7/27 – Halifax, NS @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium ^
7/28 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre ^
7/29 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom ^
7/31 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues ^
8/2 – Covington, KY @ Madison Theater ^

~ w/ Slowdive
* w/ (Sandy) Alex G & Cende
^ w/ Tegan & Sara