With Wanda Sykes guest hosting, Michelle Zauner brought “Paprika” and a gong to Jimmy Kimmel Live! for her latest performance as Japanese Breakfast.
This exhilarating track from her new album Jubilee captures the thrill of concerts (“It’s a rush!”) while never forgetting the quiet agonies that await after the audience is gone (“But alone it feels like dying.”) She bottles these feelings on-stage with the help of some carefully chosen stagecraft.
Her shimmering dress comes with sparkling shoulder pads that can look like medieval armor or angelic wings, depending on the light. And speaking of those phosphorescent tricks: By combining a spotlight above and sweeping spotlights from below, her movements often seem as blurred as the song’s emotions. But Zauner keeps things grounded with the help of a mallet and the occasional, theatrical strike of the gong. Check out “Paprika” below.
Over the last few weeks, Japanese Breakfast has shown up in all sorts of unexpected places. Zauner sang her own song in Simlish for The Sims 4 Cottage Living, wrote an original score for the video game Sable, and as if that weren’t enough, her bestselling debut memoir Crying in H Mart is going to be adapted into a movie. She also chatted with our own Kyle Meredith.