The Song Exploder podcast has just released its second episode of the new year. It features Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast breaking down “Boyish” from her 2017 album Soft Sounds From Another Planet with her co-producer and bandmate Craig Hendrix.
Zauner details how the Soft Sounds hit started as a demo for a lo-fi recording exercise called June that she did on her own way back in 2013. She was working on her previous band Little Big League’s second album at the time, and she decided to write and record a song every day for the month of June to break through a period of creative block. Zauner describes the project as an “exercise in first thought, best thought,” and refers to the June music as the first material she wrote as Japanese Breakfast, her now-acclaimed solo venture. She takes Song Exploder through several versions of “Boyish,” including the original June demo, a version with Little Big League, and the final version that appears on the album.
For the unfamiliar, Song Exploder is a podcast that features musicians breaking down how their songs came about piece by piece. The podcast has featured everyone from Iggy Pop to Yo-Yo Ma, and takes a deep dive into each artist’s history, influences and creative process, one song at a time. It is hosted by Thao Nguyen of the band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down and produced by Christian Coons. Hrishikesh Hirway originally hosted the podcast from its inception in 2014 until the end of 2018.
Listen to the Japanese Breakfast episode of Song Exploder here and check out the music video for “Boyish” below.