Japanese Breakfast‘s latest single is a stripped-down, intimate cover of Yoko Ono’s “No One Sees Me Like You Do”.
Japanese Breakfast Pays Tribute to Yoko Ono
On January 26th, Japanese Breakfast shared a cover of Yoko Ono’s “Nobody Sees Me Like You Do.” This track is from the upcoming artist tribute album, “Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono,” released February 18th. Other artists like Death Cab for Cutie and Davide Bryne will contribute to the album.
Michelle Zauner is a Korean-American artist who is the lead vocalist and songwriter of the indie rock band Japanese Breakfast. Then there’s Devin Craige, the bass player, and, conveniently, the tour manager for Japanese Breakfast.
In a trailer for a podcast promoting Ocean Child, Zauner says, “She [Yoko Ono] was the most—sort of—hated woman in music for a while—so unfairly—that I think, obviously, as an Asian woman, I sided with her, and saw her as a very deep and complex artist that was being unfairly judged by the world and how difficult that must have been. And it became very symbolic for me”.
Japanese Breakfast’s “Nobody Sees Me Like You Do” Analysis
The track opens with a tear-jerking, solemn piano. Instantly, it is a different vibe from Ono’s original sound with The Apples In Stereo and their rock flare. Instead, the track utilizes only piano and softness. Michelle Zauner’s voice echoes off the track’s emptiness and revisions it in with intimacy. In the beginning, she sings, “I see your face looking into the space / All tired and worried /Why does it have to be like this– you and I / I wanted us to be happy.” With the mild instrumentation, Michelle’s voice has such raw emotion. From the intro to the “No one / No one / No one /No one” ending, Michelle drives home her loneliness once more.
Even though the Yoko Ono’s and Japanese Breakfast’s delivery of the track is different, Ono gives you a full experience while Michelle gives you emotion. Still, Japanese Breakfast’s minimalism suits Michelle’s voice best while still paying homage to Yoko Ono.
What is Japanese Breakfast Up To Now?
Along with the group’s musical success, Michelle Zauner published a book, “Crying in H Mart: A Memoir.” Originally, this was an essay for The New Yorker. But, now, it has expanded into 256 pages. The memoir is a powerful remembrance of her late mother, connecting to an out-of-touch Korean heritage and forging her own identity. The memoir made many 2021 year-end lists including Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, and The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, for 2021, the book was the second-best book of the year, according to Amazon, Hudson’s Book Of The Year, a B&N finalist for Book of the Year, and GoodReads’s Choice Award Winner. Therefore, besides her musical contributions, she is starting to make a literary journey, which starts with self-healing. Not to mention Japanese Breakfast received a Grammy nomination on thier last release. Making quite a year for Michelle Zauner.
In this interview with Penguin Random House, Michelle Zauner explores the themes of her debut novel in much more depth.
What Do you think of Japenese Breakfast’s cover of “Nobody Sees Me Like You Do”? Let us know in the comments!