ASUC Superb just announced its fall lineup of free on-campus shows for UC Berkeley students, and the first one’s a doozy. This Saturday the 17th, two of the most exciting young talents in indie pop songwriting, Porches and Japanese Breakfast, will be playing Lower Sproul Plaza.
Porches originally started as the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Aaron Maine, with a sound lying somewhere between the heartwrenching small-pop of his girlfriend Greta Kline (Frankie Cosmos) and the gorgeous, grooving, moving R&B of his good friend and regular ping-pong partner Dev Hynes (Blood Orange). This year’s Pool (and accompanying demo EP Water) openly flirts with a full-on electro-pop sound only hinted at on previous releases such as 2014’s Slow Dance in the Cosmos, and sounds all the better for it: Pool is without a doubt their best output yet. You might have heard them this summer at the Santa Monica Pier opening for BØRNS for KCRW’s Twilight Concerts series.
[Note: Porches’ name was originally stylized as “PORCHES.” until they smartly realized that band names incorporating punctuation or all caps are passé — my sincere apologies to Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), DARKSIDE, Anderson .Paak, BADBADNOTGOOD, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.]
Japanese Breakfast (Michelle Zauner) released her unfuckwittable debut full-length Psychopomp in April. The lyrics on the album, which were written shortly after the death of Zauner’s mother, are unapologetic, yearning, and painful. In an interview with B-Side earlier this year, she said of the record: “I can’t listen to it, because it’s poking at the wound….Even though I can’t listen to it, I think it was natural to want to immortalize other people because that’s how I find meaning in my life, and my mom wasn’t one who did that for herself.” Standout single “Everybody Wants to Love You” is filled to the brim with chiming guitar melodies and features backing vocals from Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital (a.k.a. the favorite indie rock band of all your favorite indie rock bands). She’s fresh off an expansive tour with Mitski and Jay Som that made a triumphant stop at Starline Social Club in July.
Japanese Breakfast takes the Lower Sproul stage at 8pm this Saturday. Porches is on at 9. Rock out.