Japanese Breakfast’s video for “The Body Is A Blade” meditates on memory and surviving tragedy
Japanese Breakfast‘s Michelle Zauner has proven herself as not only one of Philly’s best and most prolific artists of the last few years — with 2016’s Psychopomp and 2017’s SoftSounds From Another Planet — but as an accomplished music video creator, too. After directing the last few Japanese Breakfast videos, as well as Jay Som’s video for “The Bus Song,” Zauner is back today with another self-directed video — this time for Soft Sounds track “The Body is A Blade.”
The heartfelt and nostalgic video places shots of Zauner alongside old photographs of her family, personal remembrances that seen in a fresh light with colorful animation. Accompanied by the song’s light and upbeat tone and its messages of persistence, Zauner’s memories of her mother come alive as she overcomes the pain of loss.
Today marks the day my mom has been gone for three years. Since then everything I have created has been made in her memory, every success feels a part of her doing.
Body is a Blade is a song about letting your body take over when mentally you can longer be present. It’s about packing up your childhood home, seeing its shell staged by real estate brokers for strangers to buy without knowing that room is the one she died in, giving away her old clothes. It’s a mantra to not let the pain you endure transform you into an unkind person. It’s a reminder that the world did not target you personally, that people survive tragedies everyday.
I’ve thrown myself into my work since I lost my mother because it’s all I have to stay sane and what she would have wanted. Sometimes busyness feels like a cocoon. Like the hours I spent animating these old photos frame by frame. I know many of you have lost loved ones too and I hope this helps you somehow.
It’s been a busy year for Japanese Breakfast. Zauner and band have been selling out dates across the country on their headlining tour, and they return to Philly tomorrow for a sold-out homecoming show at the First Unitarian Church with Mannequin Pussy and The Spirit of the Beehive before embarking on a European tour.
Watch the video below.