Sufjan Stevens’ track “Romulus,” off of his 2003 album Greetings from Michigan the Great Lake State, sparkles with its vulnerable meditations on parenting. Stevens whispers confessions about a strained relationship between child and mother, one filled with shame, guilt, and confusion, yet also gratitude. Japanese Breakfast’s cover of the song for SiriusXMU Sessions puts this vulnerability on display.
Without diverting too much from the original, the cover shows off vocalist Michelle Zauner’s trembling voice. Zauner’s voice complements the simplicity of the lyrics, which glimmer with a child-like quality. The cover also features Gabby’s World on background vocals and piano, with Molly Germer on violin.
This is refreshing from Zauner – much barer than the heavy production she used to convey an overtone of joy on her latest album Jubilee. Zauner’s floaty vocals backed by piano may be a hint of what is to come in Zauner’s next project: a video game soundtrack for Sable. Listen to the cover below: